Raqefet Cave

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]

Raqefet Cave
Raqefet Cave entrance
Location in Israel
Raqefet Cave (Israel)
LocationUpper Galilee
Coordinates32°44′0″N 35°3′0″E
PeriodsMiddle Paleolithic
CulturesMousterian, Levantine Aurignacian, Natufian

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]

See also


  1. 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.


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