Oren Ackermann, longtime geoarchaeologist and core staff member of the Safi project, keeps busy in other research as well!
Oren and colleagues have just published a very interesting paper on the chronology of the Lower Paleolithic/Late Acheulian site of “Kfar Menahem West”, which is situated a two km to the west of Tell es-Safi/Gath. While dealing a period not represented in the archaeological record at Tell es-Safi/Gath, it provides some very nice background information the region in Prehistoric periods (there are several other important Prehistoric sites in the region of Tell es-Safi/Gath).
Here is the full title:
Malinsky-Buller, A., Barzilai, O., Ayalon, A., Bar-Matthews, M., Birkenfeld, M., Porat, N., Ron, H., Roskin, J., and Ackermann, O. 2016 The Age of the Lower Paleolithic Site of Kefar Menachem West, Israel—Another Facet of Acheulian Variability. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 10: 350–62.
And there is the abstract:
A salvage excavation at the Lower Paleolithic site of Kefar MenahemWest in the interior of the Israeli coastal plain yielded a flake industry devoid of handaxes and their byproducts. The archeological finds covering an area exceeding 2000 m2 , are found at the contact of two distinct sedimentological units: Quartzic Brown and hamra (red clay loam paleosols). The absence of handaxes hamper placing the site within the relative chronology of the Lower Paleolithic record of the Levant. New paleomagnetic analysis coupled with optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and thermally transferred optically (TT-OSL) dating yielded a chronological range between 780 and 460 ka for the archeological occupation. The techno-typological similarities with Late Acheulian assemblages together with possible variations in the mode of occupations by early hominids at the site, both suggest that the KMW should be conceived as part of the Late Acheulian variability.
Check it out!