Lebanese prehistoric caves – Antelias

Baatoura, Balaa Lebanon

Antelias cave – مغارة انطلياس It was discovered by Heidenborg in 1833. Godefroy Zumoffen made an excavation in 1893, finding an Aurignacian industry among large quantities of bones and flints. Henri Fleisch re-examined the material from Zumoffen’s excavation and concluded that it was not solely Aurignacian but showed evidence of successive industries present as late as the Neolithic.

Raoul Describes also excavated the site and found numerous tools made of bone including two harpoons which are now in the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory. Auguste Bergy also made a small excavation here and another sounding was made possibly in 1948 by J. Ewing who described the industry as “transitional, Upper Paleolithic-to-Mesolithic”.

Dirk Albert Hooijer studied the fauna from the cave and found Dama and Capra to have been predominant. Bones of a human fetus were also found in the cave by Delore in 1901 which were published by Vallois in 1957 as being possibly Neolithic in date.

Collections from the cave can be found in the Musée de l’Homme, Paris, Museum of Lebanese Prehistory and the Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut.

Sources: Archaeology of Lebanon. Caves on gotolebanon.com

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