Qesem Cave

​Qesem Cave (320 11’ latitude, 340 98’ longitude) is situated on the low western slopes of the Judean Hills, some 12 km east of Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean shore, near the city of Rosh Ha'Ayin. The site was occupied circa 400,000-220,000 years ago, in the Lower Paleolithic period. The excavation is directed by Ran Barkai and Avi Gofer from Tel Aviv University. 


The site is unique in that it represents in its material culture a transitional period called the Acheulo-Yabrudian complex, between the Acheulean complex of oval and pear-shaped handaxes associated with Homo erectus and Homo heidelbergensis, and the more sophisticated Mousterian complex associated with Neanderthals and modern humans. Together with its location on the 'Out of Africa' corridor, continued excavations could yield important information on the origin and dispersal of modern humans. 

Furthermore, the site is unique in its assortment of over thousands of animal bones, signs that these were hunted and brought to the cave. A hearth dated to 300,000 years ago provides some of the earliest evidence for controlled and sustained use of fire. 

Affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History

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