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Scientific Projects:

Lithic Analysis

Lithic Use-Wear Studies

Faunal Analysis

Micromammal Studies

Dating Techniques

Speliology and Cave Geology

Geoarchaeology / Formation Processes

Isotopic Studies
of Lithic Procurement Strategies

Climatic and Environmental Studies



Isotopic Studies of Lithic Procurement Strategies

The in situ produced cosmogenic beryllium isotope, 10Be, in flint artifacts from different layers in prehistoric caves can provide information on flint procurement. The buildup of 10Be in a flint matrix is related to the exposure time of the flint to cosmic rays.

Although this exposure history can be complex, the 10Be content of flint assemblages can show whether the raw material was obtained from shallow mining and/or surface collection as opposed to sediments two or more meters below the surface. Flint artifact assemblages from Qesem Cave were analyzed.

Artifacts from all layers of Qesem cave show a complex distribution of 10Be concentrations. This is probably due to the fact that they were surface collected and/or mined from shallow (less than 2 m) depths, indicating different raw material procurement strategies.