Levallois stone cores. Middle Paleolithic, 120,000–80,000 years ago. Skhul Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel. Near Eastern Archaeology, American School of Prehistoric Research Collections. UMMAA 7085.

The Mount Carmel range on Israel’s Mediterranean Coast is renowned for its deep cave sites.  Stratified deposits at Tabun, el-Wad, and Skhul (es-Skhul) caves preserve evidence of half a million years of human biological and cultural evolution. The artifacts shown here come from Middle Paleolithic Mousterian deposits at Skhul, where skeletal remains of nine Neandertals were also recovered. They were excavated in the early 1930s and came to the Museum in 1937, one of several acquisitions from the American School for Prehistoric Research in Europe. In the Levallois flaking technology, knappers modified stone cores to the shape of the desired tools, which were then removed. These cores show scars from the trimming and removing of flake tools.

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In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.