Raqefet Cave

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Raqefet Cave
Raqefet entrance.jpg
Raqefet Cave entrance
Raqefet Cave
Raqefet Cave
Location in Israel
Raqefet Cave
Raqefet Cave
Raqefet Cave (Israel)
LocationUpper Galilee
Coordinates32°44′0″N 35°3′0″E / 32.73333°N 35.05000°E / 32.73333; 35.05000Coordinates: 32°44′0″N 35°3′0″E / 32.73333°N 35.05000°E / 32.73333; 35.05000
PeriodsMiddle Paleolithic
CulturesMousterian, Levantine Aurignacian, Natufian

Raqefet Cave (Cyclamen Cave) is a Late Natufian archaeological site located in Mount Carmel in the north of Israel.[1] It was discovered in 1956. The site indicates plants were already used as food at Raqefet, before the advent of agriculture.[1]


Remains in one of the chambers of the cave suggest the production of beer at that time.[2][3] The earliest archaeological evidence of fermentation consists of 13,000-year-old residues of a beer with the consistency of gruel, used by the semi-nomadic Natufians for ritual feasting, at the Raqefet Cave.[4][5]

Earlier levels at Raqefet include remains from the Levantine Aurignacian.[6] Earlier Mousterian remains were also found at Site 187.[7]

In 2020, incised slabs were discovered at Raqefet Cave, with a human figure most likely shown as dancing.[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hardy, Karen; Martens, Lucy Kubiak (2016). Wild Harvest: Plants in the Hominin and Pre-Agrarian Human Worlds. Oxbow Books. p. 229. ISBN 9781785701245.
  2. ^ Metheny, Karen Bescherer; Beaudry, Mary C. (2015). Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 46. ISBN 9780759123663.
  3. ^ Birch, Suzanne E. Pilaar (2018). Multispecies Archaeology. Routledge. p. 546. ISBN 9781317480648.
  4. ^ "'World's oldest brewery' found in cave in Israel, say researchers". British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  5. ^ "13,000-year-old brewery discovered in Israel, the oldest in the world". The Times of Israel. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  6. ^ Shea, John J. (2013). Stone Tools in the Paleolithic and Neolithic Near East: A Guide. Cambridge University Press. pp. 150–151. ISBN 9781107006980.
  7. ^ "A Mousterian assemblage was also found on the floor of the Raqefet Cave (Site 187)" in Olami, Ya'aqov; Olami, Yaʻaqov (1984). Prehistoric Carmel. Israel Exploration Society. p. 177.
  8. ^ Rosenberg, Danny; Chasan, Rivka; Lengyel, György; Nadel, Dani (2020). "Stone 'Canvas' and Natufian Art: An incised human figure from the Natufian cemetery at Raqefet Cave, Israel". Oxford Journal of Archaeology. doi:10.1111/ojoa.12189. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)