Goring-Morris, A.N., Hovers, E., Belfer-Cohen, A., 2009. The dynamics of Pleistocene and early Holocene settlement patterns and human adaptations in the Levant - an overview. In: Shea, J.J., Lieberman, D.E. (Eds.), Transitions in Prehistory: Ess

Goring-Morris, A.N., Hovers, E., Belfer-Cohen, A., 2009. The dynamics of Pleistocene and early Holocene settlement patterns and human adaptations in the Levant - an overview. In: Shea, J.J., Lieberman, D.E. (Eds.), Transitions in Prehistory: Essays
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  Transitions in Prehistory Essays in Honor of Ofer Bar-Yosef  Oxbow BooksOxford and Oakville   A  MERICAN S CHOOLOF P REHISTORIC R ESEARCH M ONOGRAPH S ERIES Series EditorsC. C. LAMBERG-KARLOVSKY, Harvard UniversityDAVID PILBEAM, Harvard UniversityOFER BAR-YOSEF, Harvard UniversityEditorial BoardSTEVEN L. KUHN, University of Arizona, TucsonDANIEL E. LIEBERMAN, Harvard UniversityRICHARD H. MEADOW, Harvard UniversityMARY M. VOIGT, The College of William and MaryHENRY T. WRIGHT, University of Michigan, Ann ArborPublications Coordinator WREN FOURNIER, Harvard UniversityThe American School of Prehistoric Research (ASPR) Monographs in Archaeology andPaleoanthropology present a series of documents covering a variety of subjects in the archaeology of theOld World (Eurasia, Africa, Australia, and Oceania). This series encompasses a broad range of subjects–from the early prehistory to the Neolithic Revolution in the Old World, and beyond including: hunter-gatherers to complex societies; the rise of agriculture; the emergence of urban societies; human physi-cal morphology, evolution and adaptation, as well as; various technologies such as metallurgy, potteryproduction, tool making, and shelter construction. Additionally, the subjects of symbolism, religion, andart will be presented within the context of archaeological studies including mortuary practices and rockart. Volumes may be authored by one investigator, a team of investigators, or may be an edited collec-tion of shorter articles by a number of different specialists working on related topics. American School of Prehistoric Research, Peabody Museum, Harvard University,11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA   Transitions in Prehistory Essays in Honor of Ofer Bar-Yosef  Edited by  John J. Shea and Daniel E. Lieberman  Published by Oxbow Books on behalf of the American School of Prehistoric Research. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in aretrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.© Oxbow Books and the individual contributors 2009ISBN 978-1-84217-340-4Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataShea, John J., 1960–Lieberman, Daniel E., 1964–Transitions in prehistory : essays in honor of Ofer Bar-Yosef / edited by John J. Shea and Daniel E.Lieberman.p. cm. -- (American School of Prehistoric Research monograph series)Includes bibliographical references.ISBN 978-1-84217-340-41. Paleolithic period. 2. Anthropology, Prehistoric. 3. Antiquities, Prehistoric. 4. Bar-Yosef, Ofer. I.Shea, John J. II. Lieberman, Daniel, 1964- III. Bar-Yosef, Ofer.GN771.T76 2009930.1'2--dc222009002081TYPESET AND PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA   10 T HE D  YNAMICSOF P LEISTOCENEAND E  ARLY  H OLOCENE S ETTLEMENT P  ATTERNSAND H UMAN  A  DAPTATIONSINTHE L EVANT : A  N O  VERVIEW Nigel Goring-Morris, Erella Hovers, and Anna Belfer-Cohen  A common thread of Ofer’s research on Levantine Prehistory has been his interest in the geographicaspects of hominin adaptations. The three of us haveagreed with Ofer on many issues and debated withhim on many others. Nevertheless, we share with ourmentor the significance of understanding the land-scapes that hominins occupied and in which they ulti-mately survived. We have therefore combined forces tobring together our individual interests in the geogra- phy of diverse periods of Levantine prehistory to pres-ent this essay in Ofer’s honor. Introduction The Levant is a principal geographical bridgebetween Africa and Eurasia. Though limited insize, the region forms a mosaic of microenviron-mental settings, from Mediterranean throughhyper-arid zones. The intensity of prehistoricresearch in the Levant over the past centuryenables the systematic investigation of diachron-ic trends in settlement patterns from the LowerPaleolithic through to the Neolithic against thebackdrop of hominin adaptations to environ-mental changes.In the context of such an attempt, obviousdifficulties concern the changing resolution of the archaeological record. A truism shared by allhistorical sciences is that time depth by itself isan active agent influencing the potential visibili-ty of the material record. The fraction of presentlandscapes that can be dated to the LowerPaleolithic is miniscule in comparison to that which can be attributed to the Neolithic. Indeed,even the meaning of “site” changes when we dis-cuss data pertaining to various archaeologicalentities along the chronological sequence. Thecircumstances of discovery influence our percep-tions of the record, so that the further back intime we go, the more difficult it becomes to pro- vide meaningful middle-range accounts.Our familiarity with the archaeologicalrecord is colored by the vagaries of chance dis-coveries as well as the paradigms and biases thatshaped the history of research. The focus of thefirst researchers on the “Holy Land” and adja-cent areas probably had more to do with theiroccidental attitudes than with the archaeologicalrecord per se, although this situation laterchanged. Indeed, in the last four decades thepotential of more desertic areas of the Levant hasbeen recognized and explored, and systematicstudy of other parts of the region began, i.e.,Transjordan and the northern Levant. Ecological Background The most distinctive feature of the Levant is itsdiversity. This small region is enclosed betweenthe Taurus-Zagros mountains to the north, theMediterranean to the west, the Sinai peninsula tothe south, and the Syro-Arabian desert to the east
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