Archaeologist Unearth Prehistoric 9,000 Year Old ‘City’ Near Jerusalem.
Workers discovered the site while creating a new entrance to Jerusalem. Archaeologist took interest in the site, which they eventually excavated for a year and half to unveil streets, burial grounds and trade items.
Their efforts to dig up these artifacts yielded hints as to how society operated in Neolithic times.
” The materials’ culture was very, very rich which could indicate that the settlement was
well-organized by political and economic leaders,” site manager Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily told the Jerusalem post.
Large, extended families lived together in designated quarters spread throughout the city, according to site manager Dr. Jacod Vardi. The street infrastructure indicates some kind of planning before the construction of houses. According to the excavators the city existed for roughly 1,500 year as a trade center. Arrowhead and knives composed of volcanic glass come from the settlements commerce with Turkey. Basalt grinding tools showed contact with the North.
Animal bones and stockpiles of seeds show the populations dependence on livestock and agriculture. However, game bones suggest that the society practiced hunting and gathering at some point. Vardi infers that the settlement
eventually switched between two lifestyles.
“The settlement reached its peak in the last 300 or 400 years” Vardi said, explaining that the economy began to thrive after the adoption of domesticated animals. ” When that happened the site became extremely huge, from maybe one hectare, it grew to 30 or 40 hectares.
The artifacts will be examined by specialist during their preparation for publication in four volumes. From there museums will decide which artifacts they will want to acquire and present to the public. The unclaimed objects will go to the Israel Antiquities Authority, which sponsored the dig, along with a number of universities.
“We owe the public and we are going to work very hard,” Vardi Said.
The managers experienced difficulty with the initial process of the dig because some staff members supposedly didn’t exert themselves according to the managers standards.
” Its very unprecedented to excavate such a large site in a year continuously, with slight change of personnel and no breaks, its hard,” Vardi said.
In spite of the challenges, the managers claim that there is something quite fulfilling in archaeology.
” For an archaeologist its always enthusiastic,” Vardi said. ” Everyday there’s something new.. something hidden”
By: Emma McAvoy , Rebecca Araten for Jpost.com