On the southern bank of Me‘arot Stream, on the western slopes of Mount Carmel, caves where discovered containing evidence of over one million years of human activity--a rare phenomenon anywhere in the world.
From Tanur Cave, which revealed the presence of three human cultures, the touring route continues to the smaller Gamal Cave, with its display of tools of the Mousterian culture, and to Hanahal Cave, some 90 meters deep, where an audiovisual presentation illustrates prehistoric daily life. A model of a skeleton outside the cave illustrates burial customs of the Natufian culture, 10,000 years ago.
Human culture in the reserve is represented by the following traditions: Acheulian (500,000-200,000 years ago), Mugharian (150,000-100,000 years ago), Mousterian (100,000-40,000 years ago), Aurignacian (40,000-12,000 years ago) and Natufian (12,000-9,000 years ago). Remains of a small, permanent Natufian village were found outside the Nahal Cave.
The latter period was the time when humans became hunter-gatherers, the first step in the domestication of plants and animals. At this time people also created works of art, such as stone carvings and shell-necklaces.
Marked trails beginning at the parking lot lead to beautiful corners of Mount Carmel, where colorful wildflowers bloom in spring.
At the souvenir shop, visitors can purchase materials about the Carmel and other places in the country. The reserve staff will gladly provide information about recreational opportunities and visits to sites on Mount Carmel and the Carmel coast.
Tours of the site are offered on Saturdays (in Hebrew) at no extra charge at 10 A.M., 12 noon and 2 P.M.