|Dates||c. 18,000 - c. 12,500 BP|
|Type site||Kebara Cave|
|Followed by||Natufian culture|
|The Stone Age|
|? before Homo (Pliocene)|
The Kebaran or Kebarian culture was an archaeological culture in the eastern Mediterranean area (c. 18,000 to 12,500 BP), named after its type site, Kebara Cave south of Haifa. The Kebaran were a highly mobile nomadic population, composed of hunters and gatherers in the Levant and Sinai areas who used microlithic tools.
The Kebaran is the last Upper Paleolithic phase of the Levant (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine). The Kebarans were characterized by small, geometric microliths, and were thought to lack the specialized grinders and pounders found in later Near Eastern cultures.
The Kebaran is preceded by the Athlitian phase of the Antelian and followed by the proto-agrarian Natufian culture of the Epipalaeolithic. The appearance of the Kebarian culture, of microlithic type implies a significant rupture in the cultural continuity of Levantine Upper Paleolithic. The Kebaran culture, with its use of microliths, is associated with the use of the bow and arrow and the domestication of the dog. The Kebaran is also characterised by the earliest collecting of wild cereals, known due to the uncovering of grain grinding tools. It was the first step towards the Neolithic Revolution. The Kebaran people are believed to have practiced dispersal to upland environments in the summer, and aggregation in caves and rockshelters near lowland lakes in the winter. This diversity of environments may be the reason for the variety of tools found in their toolkits.
Situated in the Terminal Pleistocene, the Kebaran is classified as an Epipalaeolithic society. They are generally thought to have been ancestral to the later Natufian culture that occupied much of the same range.