The word "Ahmarian" was adopted from the archaeological site of Erq el-Ahmar (also written Erk el Ahmar), Israel, a rockshelter in the Judean Desert in the northern Dead Sea Rift. It was explored and excavated by French Prehistorian René Neuville in 1951. The "Ahmarian" category had only been recognized since the 1980s, and was previously designated as "Phase II Upper Paleolithic" or "Ksar Akil Phase B".
The Ahmarian period together with the Emiran period, both from the Levant, are among the very first periods of the Upper Paleolithic, corresponding to the first stages of the expansion of Homo sapiens out of Africa. From this stage, the first modern humans migrated to Europe to form the beginning of the European Upper Paleolithic, including the Aurignacian culture, where they become known as the Cro-Magnons.
The European Bohunician culture, probably linked to the Emiran and Ahmarian, may slightly predate the Ahmarian at 48,000 BP. There is also a claim that it is roughly contemporary with the Aurignacian and the Gravettian cultures of Europe, all emerging prior to the Atlitian, which was also contemporary with the Solutrean and Magdalenian cultures of Western Europe.
The technical knowledge of the Ahmarian culture, along with the other lithic industries, is considered the likely source of the abrupt and rapid takeover of the world in all directions as evidenced by the crossing of the Bering Strait towards America. Ahmarian technology, which included the complex of blade/bladelet-knapping techniques is also linked to the tools used by the hunter-gatherers of southwestern Asia.
^Kadowaki, Seiji; Omori, Takayuki; Nishiaki, Yoshihiro (2015). "Variability in Early Ahmarian lithic technology and its implications for the model of a Levantine origin of the Protoaurignacian". Journal of Human Evolution. 82: 67-87. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.02.017. PMID25924809.
^Goring-Morris, Nigel; Belfer-Cohen, Anna (2018). "The Ahmarian in the Context of the Earlier Upper Palaeolithic in the Near East". The Middle and Upper Paleolithic Archeology of the Levant and Beyond. pp. 87-104. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-6826-3_7. ISBN978-981-10-6825-6.
^Gilead, Isaac (1991). "The Upper Paleolithic period in the Levant". Journal of World Prehistory. 5 (2): 105-154. doi:10.1007/BF00974677.