Haua Fteah is Arabic: ‫ح‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ط‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ا‬ ‫و‬ ‫ه‬ ; and, Romanized: Hawā Fṭiyaḥ. One of the most important archaeological sites in north Africa

‘Haua’ is a word used to describe a cave structure local to the coastal area. Formed due to an erosion process during the early stages of the pleistocene. In northeastern Libya. A large karstic haua is located. It is significant because it was occupied through the middle paleolithic to neolithic periods. Dating back to 200,000 years ago.

Location and environment
Haua Fteah is 0.62 mi, or 1km from the Mediterranean coast. Right at the base of the Jebel Akhdar, or, Green Mountains. Near the town of Cyrene

Stratigraphy and layout
A decent sized area for prehistoric people. Haua Fteah is 50 metres (160 ft) high by 20 metres (66 ft) wide. Inside, it spans about 80 meters or 260 feet. Around 10,000 square feet. Not bad.

Did you know? Because of its location. Haua Fteah shows climatic changes that occurred during the pleistocene. Including shoreline and ocean levels. It was 6 meters higher during the Riss-Wurm period (around 130-115,000 years ago). And, after the Storegga slide and Europes glacial disappearances. 20 meters lower.

Not long after its discovery. In 1950 to 1955. Excavations were started in the cave. In 2007 to 2013. They continued on. Digging to more than 14 meters into the ground (almost 50 feet). Top layers included hearths and shallow deposits. Likely used for cooking fires. There was neolithic and roman pottery. Domesticated animal bones, flint fragments. As well, finished tools: flake-scrapers, arrow-heads, a bifacial knife, trihedral pressure-flaked rods and drill heads.
At the lower levels. Material was dated to 80,000 years ago. At a depth of 23 feet, a 73-65,000 year old human mandible was even discovered. And, ‘Dabbin’ blades were found. Only a few sites are known with this blade style. Dating 40 to 15,000 years ago. And, not much else is known.

Overall, the Haua Fteah cave. Is a remarkable site that has greatly contributed to our understanding of human history. Prehistoric cultures, and the natural environment of northern Africa.

Douka, Katerina; Jacobs, Zenobia; Lane, Christine; Grün, Rainer; Farr, Lucy; Hunt, Chris; Inglis, Robyn H.; Reynolds, Tim; Albert, Paul; Aubert, Maxime; Cullen, Victoria; Hill, Evan; Kinsley, Leslie; Roberts, Richard G.; Tomlinson, Emma L.; Wulf, Sabine; Barker, Graeme (January 2014). “The chronostratigraphy of the Haua Fteah cave (Cyrenaica, northeast Libya)” (https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.jhevol.2013.10.001). Journal of Human Evolution. 66: 39–63. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.10.001 (https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.jhevol.2013.10.001). PMID 24331954 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24331954).

Giberti, J. (n.d.). Haua Fteah, Libya. Department of Archaeology. https://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/archived-projects/haua-fteah-libya

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