Quaternary sedimentology and prehistory on the Mediterranean coastal plain of Israel
By: Ronen A.
Published in: Quaternary International
SDGs : SDG 15 | Units: | Time: 2018 | Link
Description: The coastal plain of Israel is composed primarily of Nile-derived quartz sand carried northward in the Nile Littoral Cel l and partly windblown on land. Occasional clay and gravel deposits originated in the mountains to the east are confined to the eastern end of the plain. The windblown sand was subsequently consolidated by CaCO3, probably supplied mainly by shell fragments carried with the sand. Intervals between episodes of sand deposition gave sometimes rise to pedogenic process, coupled by the influx of atmospheric dust carrying silt/clay particles from the west, south and east. Normally mature reddish-brown loams (=hamra soils) were formed. Occasionally, immature, gray-brown sandy soils of the Regosol type have formed. A few red-brown hamra soils contain archaeological remains, but cultural remains are absent from all sandy sediments or immature sandy soils. The coastal plain consists of two distinct parts: The eastern part is made of Early and Middle Pleistocene deposits while the western part contains Upper Pleistocene and Holocene deposits. The western part is characterized by several elongated, shore-parallel aeolianite ridges distributed on- and off-shore. Such ridges are absent in the eastern part of the coastal plain. On the other hand, unconsolidated sands form a considerable volume of the deposits in the eastern part but hardly exist in the western part. In the eastern part of the coastal plain there are numerous Lower Palaeolithic sites dated 1.2–0.2 My. The western part includes sites stretching from the Middle Palaeolithic (ca. 200 Ky ago) to the Chalcolithic period (ca. 5 Ky ago). The Mount Carmel coast is unique in the preservation of off-shore sites dated between the 9th to the 5th millennia BP, submerged between 12 m below sea level and the waterline. Human skeletal remains were not found on the coastal plain except in these submerged sites. © 2017