Middle Palaeolithic find spots with Nubian cores from the Southern Negev and the Arava, Israel

  • Mae Goder Goldberger The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Hanan Ginat Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
  • Gidon Ragolski Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
  • Gregory Seri Israel Antiquities Authority
  • Itay Abadi The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Keywords: Nubian technology, Middle Paleolithic, Southern Levant, surface sites, Out of Africa, dispersals


This is a report of results from a cursory survey of several Middle Paleolithic find spots from the Arava, Israel, conducted as part of a broader collaboration between the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center and the Israel Antiquities Authority.  A series of find spots were recorded on the eastern flanks of the Zehiha hills and on the northern terraces of Wadi Paran. These finds consist of mostly Middle Paleolithic artifacts including Levallois centripetal, bidirectional and Nubian cores. The presence of Nubian cores within this technological constellation is of interest in light of recent discussions regarding archaeological markers of modern human dispersals out of Africa and feasible routes into Eurasia and Arabia. The Nubian core technology, a specific variant of the Levallois technology is found within a defined and continuous geographic region and is perceived as penecontemporaneous. Sites with a similar technological package are found to the east at Al-Jawf, within the Arabian Peninsula, as well as to the North-West, within the central Negev highlands, at the localities of Har Oded and H2. The distinctive technological characteristics, geographical extent and chronology advocate its use as a possible marker for human dispersals and interactions between Eastern Africa, the Nile Valley, the southern Levant and Arabia.

Author Biographies

Mae Goder Goldberger, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Institute of Archaeology
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mt. Scopus, 91905
Hanan Ginat, Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
Tamar regional council
Dead-Sea M.P. 86910
Gidon Ragolski, Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
Tamar regional council
Dead-Sea M.P. 86910
Gregory Seri, Israel Antiquities Authority
Israel Antiquities Authority
POB 586
Jerusalem, 91004
Itay Abadi, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Institute of Archaeology
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mt. Scopus, 91905


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How to Cite
Goder Goldberger, M., Ginat, H., Ragolski, G., Seri, G., & Abadi, I. (2017). Middle Palaeolithic find spots with Nubian cores from the Southern Negev and the Arava, Israel. Journal of Lithic Studies, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.2218/jls.v4i1.1688