Hayonim Cave: a TL-based chronology for this Levantine Mousterian sequence

N. Mercier, H. Valladas, L. Froget, J. L. Joron, J. L. Reyss, S. Weiner, P. Goldberg, L. Meignen, O. Bar-Yosef, A. Belfer-Cohen, M. Chech, S. L. Kuhn, M. C. Stiner, A. M. Tillier, B. Arensburg, B. Vandermeersch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The thermoluminescence dating method was applied to 77 heated flints from the Mousterian layers of Hayonim Cave in order to provide a precise TL-based chronology for this important Levantine sequence. A detailed dosimetric study was performed by using 76 dosimeter capsules and revealed strong spatial dose-rate variations. In parallel, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry enabled the identification of various mineral assemblages in the sediments of the cave and to localize the boundaries of these assemblages. By comparing these two data sets, it is shown that low dose-rate values (∼500 μGy/a) are systematically recorded in areas where the calcite-dahllite (CD) assemblage is preserved, whereas higher values (up to 1300 μGy/a) are associated with the leucophosphite, montgomeryite, variscite and siliceous aggregates (LMVS) assemblage. The dosimetric and mineralogical information was combined in order to assess, where possible, the dose-rate experienced by each flint during its burial. Some of the flint samples analyzed were too close to mineral assemblage boundaries and were therefore discarded. This rigorous selection led to TL ages ranging from 230 to 140 ka for the lower part of the Mousterian sequence (layers F and Lower E), which contains lithic industries characterized by blade production using the laminar method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1064-1077
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Chronology
  • Hayonim Cave
  • Mousterian
  • Near-East
  • Thermoluminescence dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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