Levallois flakes. Middle Paleolithic, 120,000–80,000 years ago. Skhul Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel. Near Eastern Archaeology, American School of Prehistoric Research Collections. UMMAA 7083.

Stratified deposits at Tabun, el-Wad, and Skhul (es-Skhul) caves on Israel’s Mediterranean Coast preserve evidence of half a million years of human biological and cultural evolution. These Levallois flakes come from Middle Paleolithic Mousterian deposits at Skhul. Members of an archaeological field school excavated them in the early 1930s. The lithics came to the Museum in 1937 as one of several acquisitions from the American School for Prehistoric Research in Europe. In the Levallois flaking technology, knappers chipped pieces off stone cores until they had the shape of the desired tool. Then, with a precise strike, they knocked the tool free of the core, and the tool was ready for immediate use upon removal. (See also Day 129.)

Back to Day 150 or continue to Day 152.

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.