The Lower Paleolithic site Eyal 23 is located in the eastern Sharon Coastal Plain. The plain is composed mainly of beds of quartz sand separated by red loams (
The site was excavated in 1996–97 as a salvage project, part of the construction of the Trans-Israel Highway, directed by A. Ronen of the University of Haifa. It is on a hill 67 m above mean sea level near Kibbutz Eyal. The eastern slope of the hill was excavated, revealing a thick series of red loams overlying a sand layer.
The following stratigraphy was observed:
Unit 1a: A brown-gray grumusol c. 0.5 m thick.
Unit 1b: Dark brown-gray grumusol c. 1.5 m thick, with a higher clay content than unit 1a.
Unit 2: A transition zone, 0.5 m thick, between the grumusol and the red loam of unit 3.
Unit 3: The upper red loam, very hard, c. 0.6 m thick.
Unit 4: The lower red loam, c. 1 m thick, less hard than unit 3.
Unit 5: A glei, c. 1 m visible thickness till the base of excavation.
The underlying unconsolidated sand (archaeologically sterile, as always on the Coastal Plain) is exposed in a quarry a few hundred meters to the west.
The following interpretation may be offered of the sequence described above: Unit 1 was accumulated under marsh conditions and the sediment is an alluvial deposit originating in the east. Units 2 through 5 were developed from aeolian sands transported from the seashore in the west. The glei of unit 5 indicates the position of ground water. Attempts to date the Eyal sediments by thermoluminescence (TL) and infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) methods were unsuccessful.
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