So Mount Carmel is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel; stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. Furthermore, the range is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Also, there are a number of towns are situated there, most notably the city of Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city; located on the northern and western slopes. In addition, the Jezreel Valley lies to the immediate northeast. The range forms a natural barrier in the landscape, just as the Jezreel Valley forms a natural passageway, and consequently, the mountain range and the valley have had a large impact on migration and invasions through the Levant over time. The Carmel mountain formation is an admixture of limestone and flint, containing many caves, and covered in several volcanic rocks. The sloped side of the mountain is covered with luxuriant vegetation; including oak, pine, olive, and laurel trees.
Archaeological Excavations At Carmel Mountain Range
So as part of a 1929–1934 campaign, between 1930 and 1932, Dorothy Garrod excavated four caves; in the Carmel mountain range. In fact, Garrod discovered Neanderthal and early modern human remains. Furthermore, she found the skeleton of a Neanderthal female; named Tabun I. Moreover, the skeleton is regarded as one of the most important human fossils ever found. The excavation at el-Tabun produced the longest stratigraphic record in the region; spanning 600,000 or more years of human activity.
The four caves and rock-shelters (Tabun, Jamal, el-Wad, and Skhul) together yield results from the Lower Paleolithic to the present day; representing roughly a million years of human evolution. There are also several well-preserved burials of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens and the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherer groups to complex; sedentary agricultural societies is extensively documented at the site. Taken together, these emphasize the paramount significance of the Mount Carmel caves for the study of human cultural and biological evolution within the framework of palaeo-ecological changes.
As a result In 2012, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee added the sites of human evolution at Mount Carmel to the List of World Heritage Sites. The World Heritage Site includes four caves (Tabun, Jamal, el-Wad, and Skhul) on the southern side of the Nahal Me’arot Valley. The site fulfills criteria in two separate categories, “natural” and “cultural”. Of great interest for the Near East Epipalaeolithic is Kebara Cave.