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2007 – 2008

2007 – 2008

A Chronological and Stratigraphical Framework for Palaeolithic Occupation of the Northern Levant from Pleistocene River Terrace Sequences

[Funded by the Council for British Research in the Levant]

2007 – 2008 work involved river terrace mapping, aided by differential GPS and section recording, in the Kebir and Orontes valleys, Syria (both rich sources of Lower Palaeolithic artefacts).

In the Orontes the work was designed to trace terraces downstream from the Homs area, where an extensive sequence was established in an phases of the project (see 2001-2003). Valuable exposures were recorded between Hama and the margins of the Ghab basin, some with artefacts observed in situ. In the Ghab both artefact and fossil-bearing deposits were observed to be preserved beneath the floor of the basin. Downstream from here the river passes into a gorge reach. It would appear that the Ghab has been subsiding throughout the Quaternary and that the present margins of this feature are active hinges across which the river switches from terraces, indicating uplift (as does the gorge), to stacked sediment accumulation. This work requires further mapping and recording in the reach between Hama and Rastan before it can be completed.

In the Kebir the work started in earlier phases was completed, such that a complete reconstruction of the fluvial and interbedded marine records in the lower and middle reaches of this valley is now available. A preliminary summary will be offered to the CBRL Newsletter for 2008.