The first cache of the Dead Sea
Scrolls was discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin looking for a stray animal.
These accidental finds often lead to important excavations
Some sites are explored provisionally by sampling cuts known as sondages
Large sites are not usually dug out entirely, although a moderate-sized round barrow may be completely moved by
The Palaeolithic Period, also called the Old Stone
Age, is an ancient cultural stage, or level, of human
development, characterized by the use of rudimentary chipped stone tools.
At sites dating from the Lower Paleolithic Period (about 2,500,000 to 200,000 years ago), simple pebble tools have
been found in association with the remains of what may have been the earliest human ancestors.
A somewhat more sophisticated Lower Paleolithic tradition, known as the chopper
-chopping tool industry,
is widely distributed in the Eastern Hemisphere.
The chopper-chopping tool industry is the earliest recognized tool tradition used by
; also known as the
"pebble industry". This tradition is thought to have been the work of the hominid species named Homo erectus.
Although no such fossil tools have yet been found, it is believed that H. erectus probably made tools of wood and
bone as well as stone.
About 700,000 years ago, a new Lower Paleolithic tool, the hand ax
The earliest European hand axes are assigned to the Abbevillian industry, which developed in northern France in the
valley of the Somme River; a later, more refined hand-ax tradition is seen in the Acheulian industry, evidence of which
has been found in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Alongside the hand-ax
tradition there developed a distinct and very different stone-tool industry, based on
flakes of stone: special tools were made from worked (carefully shaped) flakes of flint.
In Europe, the Clactonian industry is one example of a flake tradition. The early flake industries probably contributed
to the development of the Middle Paleolithic flake tools of the Mousterian industry, which is associated with the
remains of Neanderthal man.
burial sites contain the remains of food
, tools and other objects it is thought
that they believed in an afterlife.
Researchers have found burial grounds of Neanderthal man dating to 60,000 BC with flower fragments next to the
corpse and animal antlers on the body indicating some type of ritual and funeral gifts.