Variability in Hunter-Gatherer Seasonal Mobility in the Southern Levant: From the Mousterian to the Natufian



Evidence for the season of occupation of several deeply stratified cave sites from the Levant demonstrate that there have been major changes in hunter-gatherer mobility patterns between the Middle Palaeolithic and the Natufian. Models of hunter-gatherer mobility and resource acquisition strategies based on the current distribution of plant, animal, and technological resources in the southern Levant are tested using seasonal data on gazelle exploitation derived from cementum increment analysis. The strategy of seasonal mobility from habitat to habitat appears to be a quintessential behavior for modern human hunter-gatherers throughout the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic and until the end of the Epipalaeolithic. This pattern contrasts with the less mobile strategy associated with archaic humans.