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Descripción de editorial
These twenty-three papers focus on recent research into the Upper Palaeolithic of the Levant, a murky period of human history (ca 45,000 to 20,000 years ago) during which modern patterns of human behaviour and communication became the norm. The vast majority of archaeological data from this period relates to chipped stone tools and most contributors focus on defining and distinguishing the two main traditions in lithic technology - the Levantine 'Aurignacian' and the 'Ahmarian'. Some papers report on recent fieldwork, others seek to define and explain reasons for variation and change in material culture. Do lithic traditions represent different corporate groups of hunter-gatherers, or can variation be explained by other factors, such as adaptations to local landscapes and environments or changing patterns of mobility? An appendix provides a comprehensive list of available Upper Palaeolithic 14C dates in the Near East. Most of the papers derive from a conference session on the Levantine Upper Palaeolithic, held as part of the Society for American Archaeology annual meeting in 2000.