Erella Hovers

Erella Hovers
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | HUJI · Institute of archaeology

Professor

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126
Publications
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Publications

Publications (126)
Article
Full-text available
Blinkhorn et al. 1 present a reanalysis of fossil and lithic material from Garrod's 1928 excavation at Shukbah Cave, identifying the presence of Nubian Levallois cores and points in direct association with a Neanderthal molar. The authors argue that this demonstrates the Nubian reduction strategy forms a part of the wider Middle Palaeolithic lithic...
Article
The archaeological literature contains ample suggestions for lithics-based proxies of mobility, often used individually. In this study we use a combination of proxies to address changes in mobility in a persistent Late Middle Paleolithic open-air locality in the Levant (‘Ein Qashish). Low densities of finds (lithic and fauna) at 'Ein Qashish are co...
Article
Full-text available
Shovakh cave is a late Middle Paleolithic cave site in Northern Israel, situated ca. 8 km from the Sea of Galilee. The Cave was originally was excavated by Sally Binford in 1962, and results of the analyses of its lithic assemblages played a major role in the then-raging Bordes-Binford debate, as well as in the initiation of the field of inquires k...
Article
Current models of early hominin biological and cultural evolution are shaped almost entirely by the data accumulated from the East African Rift System (EARS) over the last decades. In contrast, little is known about the archaeological record from the high-elevation regions on either side of the Rift. Melka Wakena is a newly discovered site-complex...
Cover Page
The ERC-funded project, Transcause: Investigating Pleistocene population dynamics in the Southern Caucasus under the directorship of Dr. Ariel MalinskyBuller is offering a four-year doctoral scholarship at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem beginning October 2021 or as soon as possible. The successful applicant will conduct a lithic study aimed at...
Article
Full-text available
Excavations of Amud Cave in 1991-1994 yielded 14 hominin skeletal specimens (Amud 5-19) in addition to those recovered in the 1960s. Amud 9 is a partial right distal leg and foot that preserves portions of the distal tibia, talus, first metatarsal, first proximal phalanx, and a middle and distal phalanx of digit II-IV. The bones are fairly small an...
Article
Full-text available
Lithic artifacts and animal bones form the bulk of the material remains of the Paleolithic. This has led archeologists to interpret these two types of finds as tethered components of subsistence systems. Differences observed through time and space in the lithic repertoire were considered as functional adjustments, designed to maximize gains from a...
Article
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Social “connectivity” through time is currently considered as one of the major drivers of cultural transmission and cultural evolution. Within this framework, the interactions within and between groups are impacted by individuals’ distinction of social relationships. In this paper, we focus on changes in a major aspect of social perceptions, “other...
Article
Full-text available
Neanderthals and modern humans both occupied the Levant for tens of thousands of years prior to the spread of modern humans into the rest of Eurasia and their replacement of the Neanderthals. That the inter-species boundary remained geographically localized for so long is a puzzle, particularly in light of the rapidity of its subsequent movement. H...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents the geoarchaeological and geochronological aspects of Shovakh Cave and the first comparative context to the nearby Amud Cave (~ 500 m downstream), providing an exceptional opportunity to explore the range of human behaviours within a small geographic area. Sediment samples from two newly excavated areas at the rear and entrance...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last two decades, much of the recent efforts dedicated to the Levantine Middle Paleolithic has concentrated on the role of open-air sites in the settlement system in the region. Here focus on the site of 'Ein Qashish as a cases study. Located in present-day northern Israel, the area of this site is estimated to have been >1300 m 2 , of whi...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last two decades, much of the recent efforts dedicated to the Levantine Middle Paleolithic has concentrated on the role of open-air sites in the settlement system in the region. Here focus on the site of 'Ein Qashish as a cases study. Located in present-day northern Israel, the area of this site is estimated to have been >1300 m 2 , of whi...
Article
Apart from magnetostratigraphy, archaeomagnetism is rarely used in Middle and Late Pleistocene sites. Here we present detailed palaeomagnetic analyses of cemented hearths and burnt chert items from Amud Cave, Israel (68-55 ka)-two types of materials common in Levantine Middle Palaeolithic cave sites. Both materials are shown to be recorders of the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neanderthals and modern humans both occupied the Levant for tens of thousands of years prior to modern humans' spread into the rest of Eurasia and their replacement of the Neanderthals. That the inter-species boundary remained geographically localized for so long is a puzzle, particularly in light of the rapidity of its subsequent movement. We prop...
Article
The transition from the Middle Paleolithic (MP) to the Upper Paleolithic (UP), circa 40kya, is viewed as a major turning point in human evolution, in terms of the material culture, demography, and geographical expansion of modern humans. However, attempts to identify an origin of this so-called ‘revolution’ in the form of a particular stone-tool te...
Article
Full-text available
Burial is a uniquely human behavior and can be observed in the Paleolithic archaeological record. This record allows the tracing of a worldwide evolutionary trajectory from simple caching to increasingly complex and elaborate practices. Ethnographic analogies as well as contextual and taphonomic analyses suggest that what motivated burial was first...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Competing hypotheses have been forwarded in the last few decades about behavioural factors governing the technological choices of Acheulian LCTs makers and how they may have affected the morphology of bifacial tools. Hypotheses range from those asserting that Acheulian knappers used expert cognition and fore-planning to impose form on a wide spectru...
Article
Full-text available
‘Ein Qashish is a Middle Palaeolithic open-air site in the southern Levant, encompassing an excavated area of several hundred square meters and a 4.5-m thick stratigraphic section. Its placement within a fluvial system, combined with the presence of Neanderthal skeletal remains and diverse material culture finds, presents possibilities for understa...
Article
The Melka Wakena archaeological site-complex is located at the eastern rift margin of the central sector of the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), in south central Ethiopia. This wide, gently sloping rift shoulder, locally called the “Gadeb plain” is underlain by a succession of primary pyroclastic deposits and intercalated fluvial sediments as well as rew...
Article
Abstract Excavations at the site of Goda Buticha, Ethiopia, have recovered a small sample of engraved ostrich eggshell (EOES) fragments. The earliest specimens date to ~ 34 ka and ~ 43 ka, thus representing the oldest known examples of EOES in eastern Africa, and occur in association with a Middle Stone Age (MSA) lithic assemblage. The occurrence o...
Article
s The Late Pleistocene is a key period to understand the shift from the Middle ( msa ) to the Late Stone Age ( lsa ) in Africa. More generally, it is also a crucial time for elucidation of changes in the technological behaviours of human populations in Africa after the main Out of Africa event of modern humans ca. 60-50 thousand years ago. However,...
Raw Data
Suppl info for the paper ’Late Pleistocene and Holocene Lithic Variability at Goda Buticha (Southeastern Ethiopia): Implications for the Understanding of the Middle and Late Stone Age of the Horn of Africa’ published in Journal of African Archaeology: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/21915784-12340010
Article
Full-text available
The late Middle Palaeolithic (MP) settlement patterns in the Levant included the repeated use of caves and open landscape sites. The fossil record shows that two types of hominins occupied the region during this period—Neandertals and Homo sapiens. Until recently, diagnostic fossil remains were found only at cave sites. Because the two populations...
Article
Humans are thought to have reached the Americas less than 15,000 years ago. But evidence of stone tool use on an animal carcass excavated in California points to a much earlier arrival of human relatives from the genus Homo. See Letter p.479
Article
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Goda Buticha is a cave site near Dire Dawa in southeastern Ethiopia that contains an archaeological sequence sampling the late Pleistocene and Holocene of the region. The sedimentary sequence displays complex cultural, chronological and sedimentological histories that seem incongruent with one another. A first set of radiocarbon ages suggested a lo...
Book
The aim of the book is to present original and though-provoking essays in human paleontology and prehistory, which are at the forefront of human evolutionary research, in honor of Professor Yoel Rak (a leading scholar in paleoanthropology). The volume presents a collection of original papers contributed by many of Yoel's friends and colleagues from...
Conference Paper
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The earliest Acheulian in eastern Africa appears 1.7 Ma within the Rift Valley (West Turkana, Konso, Gona). These early assemblages present a mosaic of lithic technological characteristics that bridge the Oldowan and Acheulian technological systems. Two sites in central Ethiopia, Melka Kunture (geologically and topographically within the Rift) and...
Article
Studying the distribution of lithic raw materials around prehistoric sites, their procurement, transport, and use, are important for understanding organizational decisions of hunter-gatherers. Here we examine lithic technological organization in two stratigraphic subunits B4 and B1 (dated ? 68 and ? 55 ka, respectively) at the Neanderthal site of A...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ein Qashish is an open-air, late Middle Paleolithic site located on the bank of the Qishon River, on the eastern piedmont of Mt. Carmel in the Yizra'el Valley, Israel. This location is interesting because it is close to many of the major Middle Paleolithic cave sites in northern Israel, in an area where no open-air sites were previously known. e si...
Article
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The finding of 3.3-million-year-old stone flints, cores, hammers and anvils in Kenya suggests that the first stone tools were made by human ancestors that pre-dated the earliest known members of the genus Homo. See Article p.310
Article
Goda Buticha is a newly discovered cave site in southeastern Ethiopia, containing MSA and LSA cultural material, faunal remains, beads, and human skeletal remains. A 2.3 m-deep sedimentary sequence records two occupational phases separated by a sharp chronological hiatus, in the Upper Pleistocene (∼ 43–31.5 ka cal BP) and in the mid- Holocene (7.8–...
Article
The horn of Africa provides the setting for the evolution of early modern humans and their dispersal out of Africa as well as for the entry, many thousands of years later, of pastoralists who brought Near Eastern and, later, South Asian livestock into Africa. However, significant gaps remain in our understanding of the late Upper Pleistocene archae...
Article
Information retrieved from open-air sites is necessary for a more complete reconstruction of Middle Paleolithic behaviors, which is currently often based mainly on data from caves and rockshelters. However, open-air sites present methodological and analytical challenges that differ from those encountered in cave sites. Being essentially an integral...
Article
Full-text available
A century of research has led to the recognition of multiple levels of technological variability in the Levantine Middle Paleolithic (MP) that cannot be resolved through single-cause explanatory models. Recent ecological models argue for continual occupation of the region and competitive coexistence of Neanderthal and modern human populations. Curr...
Article
The 145th symposium of the Wenner-Gren Foundation took place June 1–8, 2012, in Häringe Slott near Stockholm, Sweden. The primary goal of the symposium was to reframe discussions of behavioral evolution among Neanderthals and early modern humans. We hoped to replace conventions of a single scale of evolutionary progress (in which the primary benchm...
Article
a b s t r a c t Lithic reduction sequences reflect decisions made by ancient tool makers. The first stages of a reduction sequence concern raw material procurement and include identifying sources on the landscape, testing the quality of raw material, knapping on the spot or moving material to other locations. The distance from raw material source t...
Article
The Middle Paleolithic site of ‘Ein Qashish is located on the floodplain of the Qishon stream, northern Israel, which drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is located at the inlet to a narrow water gap between Mt. Carmel and Tiv'on Hills. The excavation and 3 trenches up to 5 m deep provide the stratigraphy and allow a reconstruction of the paleoge...
Conference Paper
The human use of caves has its origins as far back as million years ago, when early humans began to use them as seasonal camp sites. At about 500,000 Ka the use of caves by these small groups of hunter-gatherers became a widespread phenomenon in Africa and Eurasia. In Israel alone (at an area of 8,800 km 2) there are about 40 prehistoric caves, dat...
Chapter
In the modern world, creativity often culminates in material things or ideas about how to make them, and therefore should be of major interest of archaeologists, who deal with the material record of the past. Being the first recognizable techno-complex of hominin material culture, the Oldowan constitutes an interesting case for investigating creati...
Presentation
The Middle Stone Age (MSA) is characterized by the emergence of Homo sapiens and the appearance of a modern behaviour (Mcbrearty and Brooks 2000). Its lithic typo-technology is generally composed of Levallois and discoïd products, retouched points and a blade component. It differs from the Later Stone Age (LSA) which is traditionally defined by the...
Conference Paper
Digitizing excavation data: Amud Cave is a late Middle Paleolithic site in Israel (68-55 thousand years ago), presenting a stratigraphic sequence of dense human occupations coupled with complex site formation processes, and spatial patterning within coeval deposits throughout the cave. The most recent excavations at the site ended in 1994, prior to...
Article
We report the results of an analysis of raw material selection patterns in the assemblages from two Late Pliocene in situ archaeological localities in the Makaamitalu Basin (Hadar, Ethiopia). While the same local conglomerate was used as a raw material source for both archaeological occurrences, different selection criteria are identified. At A.L....
Article
Full-text available
The recognition of the dynamic role of site formation processes led archaeologists to recognize a behavioral dichotomy between [`]living floors' and palimpsests', Yet the archaeological proxies of [`]living floor' and [`]palimpsest' were never defined formally, and therefore have been used variably. We use archaeological criteria mentioned in the a...
Article
Full-text available
The Eurocentric (or rather Western European) outlook on cultural evolution envisioned a sharp demarcation between the phenomena grouped under the title Middle Paleolithic (i.e., archaic) and the phenomena recognized as Upper Paleolithic (i.e., modern). This view became the framework for testing cognitive, social, and economic hypotheses explaining...
Article
In this paper we present new data pertaining to the paleo-landscape characteristics at the Acheulian site of Revadim, on the southern coastal plain of Israel. Sedimentological, isotopic, granulometric and micromorphological studies showed that the archaeological remains accumulated in an active fluvial environment where channel action, overbank flo...
Chapter
This chapter reviews the state of the research on the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition following profound paradigm changes in the last three decades. The demise of the Eurocentric paradigm, which saw a linear shift from Neanderthals to moderns and from Middle to Upper Paleolithic lifeways, opened the field to a large number of competing hypot...
Chapter
The Oldowan industry represents the oldest known manifestation of material culture. The expression of these earliest tools is marked by its diversity. Here we review various approaches to this material. In particular we focus on how the history of research on these industries has changed dramatically from the earliest investigations in East Africa...
Chapter
A study of raw material selection patterns at a Late Pliocene Oldowan site (A. L. 894, Hadar, Ethiopia) raised methodological questions inherent specifically to the study of the very early lithic assemblages. These in turn have a significant effect on our understanding of patterns of raw material selection and use as well as inferences about homini...
Book
Full-text available
An understanding of the uniquely human behavior of stone tool making tackles questions about hominins’ ability to culturally transmit and expand their base of social and practical knowledge and their cognitive capacities for advanced planning. The appearance of stone tools has often been viewed as a threshold event, impacting directly and profoundl...
Article
Hearths are important archaeological features, serving to infer past practices related to hominin subsistence and social behaviors. The identification of hearths is not always straightforward due to post-depositional processes. In karstic cave environments in particular it is not always easy to distinguish, in the field or in the laboratory, betwee...
Chapter
Full-text available
An intriguing phenomenon of the Middle Paleolithic archaeological record is the sporadic occurrence of traits commonly associated with alleged modern behavior. Given the antiquity in the hominin lineage of the organic systems that control such behaviors, the question of interest is not whether Middle Paleolithic people were capable of such behavior...