The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Ein Qashish

Excavation director:

Prof. Erella Hovers
Ms. Ravid Ekshtain
Mr. Ariel Malinsky-Buller

Contact Person: Ms. Ravid Ekshtain
Dates of Excavation: July 14th till August 21st 2013

Location map
and driving instructions:

Ein Qashish is an open-air site Middle Paleolithic site located on the bank of the Qishon River, at the eastern piedmont of Mt. Carmel and just opposite of the Bronze Age Tel Qashish. This location is interesting because it is close to many of the major Middle Paleolithic cave sites in northern Israel, in an area where practically no open-air sites have been known before. The site was discovered in 2004 by survey teams of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Work at the site was carried out in 2005 and then again in 2009-2010 on behalf of the Institute of archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Two seasons of excavation at the site revealed lithic artifacts and animal remains located on a paleo-landscape buried some three meters below the present-day surface, at an interface between the paleo-Qishon floodplain and channels of variable sizes flowing into the river from the Carmel. This environment seems to have offered water and access to animal resources, and presumably also plant foods. Finds thus far include typical Middle Paleolithic artifacts suggesting that much of the knapping took place at the site, as well as fragmented animal remains, some of which bear cut marks indicating that people have processed animal resources. There are also indications that activities at the site were spatially segregated and for the use of fire. A striking find from the site are the remains of what seems to be a single, exceptionally large wild cattle, some of which are still waiting to be excavated. We plan to expand the excavated area in order to continue work on this intriguing find and to research the spatial behavior of the site's occupants, their strategies of raw material acquisition and use, and many other aspects of the site.

Work at 'Ein Qashish offers an opportunity to look at Middle Paleolithic lifeways in northern Israel from the little studied perspective of open-air rather than cave site, and to complete our understanding of settlement and mobility patterns in this region of globally important Middle Paleolithic archaeological and skeletal remains.

The next season of excavations at 'Ein Qashsih' will take place during July 14th till August 21st, 2013.

Lodging will be in air-conditioned rooms in the Oranim College for Education, a 10-minute drive from the site.

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For additional information please contact Ravid Ekshtain or Erella Hovers.