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Plant-food preparation on two consecutive floors at Upper Paleolithic Ohalo II, Israel

Journal of Archaeological Science
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.09.023
  • Archaeobotany
  • Ohalo Ii
  • 3D Spatial Analysis
  • Activity Area
  • Food Preparation
  • Upper Palaeolithic


Abstract The Ohalo II Upper Paleolithic site was inundated for ca. 23,000 years. A unique and diverse assemblage of seeds and fruit was thus excellently preserved on its brush huts floors. Three successive floors were identified in Brush Hut 1; about 55,000 seeds and fruits were found on its lower floor, Floor III. Food preparation features were found on two of these floors: a hearth in the center of Floor III and a grinding stone in the north of Floor II. Here we analyze the spatial distribution of fourteen prominent plant taxa recovered from Floor III, and compare the results with previously published spatial distribution of the same taxa on Floor II. We describe here the plant remains’ distribution around food preparation features – grinding stone (floor II) and a central hearth (floor III), and the groups of taxa which appear on both floors. The similarity in taxa as well as their concentrations on both floors indicates similar activities. We also raise the possibility that the two floors represent two different seasons of occupation – Floor III in winter and Floor II in summer.

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