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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Researchers find 400,000-year-old hub of weapon, tool production in Israel

A new archaeological study claims that the Qassem cave in the Samarian foothills just outside Tel Aviv was a hub of mass production of tools and weapons around 200,000 to 400,000 years ago.

The cave, which is believed to have originally been created by the action of acidic water on the limestone rock over 200,000 years ago, allowed the local inhabitants of the late Lower Paleolithic period to start up their massive tool production, before closing again and sealing in the secrets until construction work started recently on a highway widening project.

According to Archaeo News, the area, which is surrounded by large quantities of flint, covers all stages from hunting the prey to precise butchering, having one sharp edge and one blunt so that they could be hand held comfortably and the tools made there were of a very high quality.

Although very little is known of these toolmakers, who were the early forerunners to the Homo Sapiens and had only a few teeth, were part of the Acheulo-Yabrudian cultural complex which was restricted to the area now known as Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

The startling discovery has pushed back the boundaries of modern man's existence in the area to over 200,000 years and there is still considerable work to be done in the caves after which it is hoped that more human remains can be found, to give more knowledge and insight into these ancient industrial pioneers.