Qesem Cave Project - Home Scientific Projects
Introduction   |   Excavations   |   Scientific Projects
Staff   |   Picture Gallery   |   Publications   |   Sponsors
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

Paleoanthropology

Paleomagnetism



Lithic Analysis


The study of lithic technology and typology has shown that most of the assemblages are clearly dominated by blades and blade-tools; side scrapers appear throughout the stratigraphic sequence; single hand axes appear both at the top and the bottom of the sequence (4.5 meters apart in elevation), but not in each assemblage; and, several polyhedrons, spheroids and chopping tools were found in the southern part of the cave. All assemblages seem to represent all stages of lithic manufacturing including raw material, cores, C.T.E., blanks, waste material and tools. Hammerstones were found in some of the assemblages.

The Amudian Industry at Qesem Cave is characterized by blade production dominates. The technology looks simple with little core shaping or preparation and little, if at all, core maintenance. This is also reflected in the blanks that usually have thick plain butts.

Direct percussion heavy blows, deep in side the striking platform were practiced and thus overpassing items are abundant. Cortex was not removed since cortical laminar items were a desired end-product, especially Naturally Backed Knives.

Large, wide and thick laminar items were selected for secondary modification and the shaped items are dominated by retouched and backed laminar items with some end scrapers, burins and rare side scrapers.

In general, this appears to be a simple but an efficient laminar industry - a conscious technological choice of skilled flint knap pers.