Misliya Cave: It is Homo sapiens and not a passing stranger!

This is a large (ca 13 cm) , unretouched elongated Tabun-D Point, characterized by a chapeau de gendarme  (Fig.3) base found decennia ago in the Carmel region.  

Normally this blog is not a blog on “ breaking news”, but the detection of AMH at the Middle Pleistocene site Misliya Cave in Isreal is worth commenting….

Misliya Cave ,located on the western slopes of Mount-Carmel is a collapsed cave, consisting of three terraces about slightly to the south of Nahal Sefunim, ca  12 km south of Haifa. While in the lower terrace, Acheulo-Yabroudian artifacts were incorporated in abundance, the upper terrace is characterized by a Tabun-D Ensemble. The middle terrace contains mixture of Acheulo – Yabrudian and Levallois-Mousterian.

Several lines of evidence date the upper terrace tp 180-200 k.a. BP in good accordance to a “Tabun-D” ensemble.

Early specimens of Homo Sapiens in Africa and the Levant are notorious rare. Omo Kibish (Ethiopia), dates by 40Ar/39Ar to 172-196 k.a, Herto (Ethiopia) by the same method to 150-154. k.a. Recently Jebel Irhoud in Morocco  was dated by several lines of evidence to 315 k.a. Skhul and Qafzeh in Israel are 90-100 k.a. old. Homo sapiens at Manot cave may be ca  55 k.a. old. Now skull fragments with indisputable and specific clues of Homo Sapiens were detected at  Misliya within the tabun-D ensemble  (177-194 k.a. old). In 2015, fossils of anatomically modern humans were found in China that dated to as much as 120,000 years old. These new findings are suggestive that members of the Homo sapiens clade left Africa earlier than previously thought.

Paradigms are steadily changing. While 10 years ago the cradle of Homo Sapiens was suggested to be in East Africa- Jebel Irhoud, Manot and Misliya Cave show, that other regions could be of equal importance and that the reconstruction of hypothetical ” Homo Sapiens waves” is a simplifed look on the genesis of our ancestors.

By the way- it is interesting to look on the artifacts: Omo Kibish is characterized by Levallois technology with a strong and beautiful bifacial component, Jebel Irhoud would fit into the Ferrassie Mousterian technocomplex, Misliya is Tabun-D Levallois Mousterian and Manot may be Levallois Mousterian or even an Early Upper Paleolithic.

Early Middle Paleolithic (EMP) from the Mt. Carmel

“Tabun D type” Ensembles in the Levant





About Katzman

During my whole life I was fascinated by stone age artefacts. Not only the aesthetic qualities of these findings, but also the stories around them and the considerations arising from their discovery, are a part of my blog. Comments and contributions are allways welcome! About me: J.L. Katzman (Pseudonym). Born in Vienna. Left Austria in 1974 and did not regret. Studied Medicine and Prehistory at a German University. Member of a Medical Department at a German University. Copyright 2010-2017 by JLK. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to use material in these posts so long as you cite the work.
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3 Responses to Misliya Cave: It is Homo sapiens and not a passing stranger!

  1. ohwilleke says:

    “In 2015, fossils of anatomically modern humans were found in China that dated to as much as 120,000 years old.” – Questionable.

    “Recently Jebel Irhoud in Morocco was dated by several lines of evidence to 315 k.a.” – Probably too archaic to consider an AMH, although certainly late in hominin evolution.

  2. Katzman says:

    Of course Irhoud is more archaic than Manot for example- but Jebel Irhoud has specific clues that allow to put the fossil into the early Homo sapiens clade, including facial, mandibular, and dental characters comparable to later H. sapiens fossils or even present-day humans. Evolution is a slow and gradual process. Please read the study by Neubauer et al:


    Why are data from China always questionable? During the last years we hear so many exciting things from there and they are not politically biased as far I can see. On the other hand you are right because we are waiting for additional geochronological and taphonomic data to further support the argument that AHMs in China are indeed 80-120 k.a. old, for example at Fuyan Cave.


  3. HOSEIN says:

    Your accuracy and intelligence are appreciated.
    Thank you

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