Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 2012
Size of heritage: 54 ha
- Buffer zone: 370 ha

Longitude: 34,965°
Latitude: 32,670°


Situated on the western slopes of the Mount Carmel range, the site includes the caves of Tabun, Jamal, el-Wad and Skhul. Ninety years of archaeological research have revealed a cultural sequence of unparalleled duration, providing an archive of early human life in south-west Asia. This 54 ha property contains cultural deposits representing at least 500,000 years of human evolution demonstrating the unique existence of both Neanderthals andEarly Anatomically Modern Humans within the same Middle Palaeolithic cultural framework, the Mousterian. Evidence from numerous Natufian burials and early stone architecture represents the transition from a hunter-gathering lifestyle to agriculture and animal husbandry. As a result, the caves have become a key site of the chrono-stratigraphic framework for human evolution in general, and the prehistory of the Levant in particular.

Location on Map

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The Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves, located in Israel at coordinates N32 40 12 E34 57 55, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that holds immense historical and archaeological significance. This site is a testament to the evolution of human culture and civilization over hundreds of thousands of years.


The history of the Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves dates back to the Lower Paleolithic period, around 500,000 years ago. These caves served as shelters for early human populations, providing protection from the elements and predators. The caves also served as a hub for cultural and social activities, as evidenced by the numerous artifacts and tools discovered within. Over time, the caves witnessed the transition of human societies from hunter-gatherer communities to settled agricultural civilizations. The archaeological findings at this site have shed light on the development of human intelligence, social structures, and technological advancements.

Current State

Today, the Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves continue to be a significant archaeological site, attracting researchers, historians, and tourists from around the world. The site is meticulously preserved and managed by the Israel Antiquities Authority to ensure its historical integrity. Visitors to the site can explore the various caves, each offering a unique glimpse into different periods of human evolution. The caves are adorned with ancient rock art, engravings, and paintings, providing a visual representation of the cultural and artistic expressions of our ancestors. The site also features a visitor center that offers educational exhibits and interactive displays, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the archaeological significance of the caves. Guided tours are available, allowing visitors to delve deeper into the rich history and cultural heritage of the site. The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2012. This designation highlights the universal value of the site and the need for its protection and preservation for future generations. The site faces various challenges, including environmental factors such as erosion and weathering, as well as the need for ongoing research and conservation efforts. However, through collaborative efforts between the Israel Antiquities Authority, UNESCO, and other stakeholders, the site continues to be safeguarded and its historical significance celebrated. In conclusion, the Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves in Israel are a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a unique window into the evolution of human civilization. With its rich archaeological findings and well-preserved caves, this site serves as a testament to the ingenuity, creativity, and resilience of our ancestors. It is a place of immense historical and cultural value, inviting visitors to explore and appreciate the wonders of our shared human heritage.

Hotels and places to stay

Kibbutz Dor Holiday Village

Distance: 5,0 mi
Moshav Dor-hof-ha Carmel 30820
30820 Dor

Time Information

Checkout: 10:00 - Checkin: 15:00
Weekday: -
Weekend: closed

Videos from the area

video3.mov: יער עופר - מירב

Published: July 02, 2011
Length: 30:23 min
Rating: 0 of 5
Author: Rony Zighelboim

See the entire trip at http://www.everytrail.com.

הסינגל השחור ביער עופר 8/3/2014

Published: March 08, 2014
Length: 57:11 min
Rating: 0 of 5
Author: daniel gozlan

צולם עם GoPro Hero 3+ black etition.

Cavemen on Mt. Carmel, Israel

Published: August 06, 2013
Length: 04:34 min
Rating: 0 of 5
Author: Zvi Peretz Cohen

Cavemen on Mt. Carmel, Israel Nahal Me'arot Nature Reserve - Prehistoric Humans Site.

סינגל מרכז מירב

Published: March 15, 2009
Length: 21:20 min
Rating: 0 of 5
Author: guywildwheels

singletrack in kerem maharal forest רכיבת סינגלים במיר"ב 2009.

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