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Syria

The Middle to Upper Palaeolithic Transition at Yabroud II

Project completed

The town of Yabroud is situated approximately 80 km northeast of Damascus (Syria), and approximately 20 km east of the Lebanese border. Not far from the town are a number of caves, among which is the archaeological site of Yabroud II. The finds from Yabroud II have been analysed a number of times. The first analysis of the site inventory was undertaken by the excavator A. Rust, in 1950, and published under the title "The Finds from Yabroud Cave (Syria)". In the following years, the artefacts were examined and analysed on numerous occasions, each time focusing on different aspects. In the work of Ziffer (1981) and Bakdach (1982), particular attention was paid to the Upper Palaeolithic finds. The lower six stratigraphic levels, which include the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition, had received little attention and these artefacts became the focus of a new technological analysis by the Neanderthal Museum. The results of this analysis identified a change in the method of flake production in Yabroud II. In the lower stratigraphic levels, flakes, blades, and points were produced with the Levallois technique. In higher levels, by contrast, are blades and bladelets produced with a 'blade' technique. Interestingly, between the two series of layers lies a layer in which both tool forms are found, marking the transition period.

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Literature

Pastoors, Andreas; Weniger, Gerd C.; Kegler, Jan F. (2008): The Middle - Upper Palaeolithic transition at Yabroud II (Syria). A re-evaluation of the lithic material from the Rust excavation. In: Paléorient 34 (2), S. 47-66.

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