Israeli archaeologists claim to discover ancient city

Israeli archaeologists claim to discover ancient city
Archeologists work at a large, 5,000-year-old city in northern Israel. Israel's Antiquities Authority said Sunday the ancient city was discovered during preparations for a new highway interchange near Harish, a town roughly 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Tel Aviv, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Israel's Antiquities Authority on Sunday said that researchers have discovered the remains of a large, 5,000-year-old city that sheds new light on experts' understanding of the period.

Calling it a "cosmopolitan and planned ," the authority said the early Bronze Age settlement covered 65 hectares (160 acres) and was home to about 6,000 people.

"In this city, we have a planned settlement with a whole net of streets and alleys and squares, and drainage installations, storage installation," said Yitzhak Paz, a director of excavation on behalf of the authority.

The city was discovered during preparations for a highway interchange project near Harish, a town some 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Tel Aviv.

Researchers said the discovery "dramatically changes" their understanding of the period—a time in which a rural, agrarian society was beginning to establish urban sites. They said that residents made their living from agriculture and traded with other regions and kingdoms.

Among the discoveries was an unusual ritual temple, burnt animal bones—evidence of sacrificial offerings—and a figurine of a human head. There also were millions of pottery fragments, and stone vessels.

"The remains of residential buildings, diverse facilities and the are an indication of the organized society and the that existed at the time," the researchers said.

  • Israeli archaeologists claim to discover ancient city
    An archeologists shows a figurine found at a large, 5,000-year-old city in northern Israel. Israel's Antiquities Authority said Sunday the ancient city was discovered during preparations for a new highway interchange near Harish, a town roughly 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Tel Aviv, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
  • Israeli archaeologists claim to discover ancient city
    A general view of a large, 5,000-year-old city in northern Israel. Israel's Antiquities Authority said Sunday the ancient city was discovered during preparations for a new highway interchange near Harish, a town roughly 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Tel Aviv, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
  • Israeli archaeologists claim to discover ancient city
    Archeologists work at a large, 5,000-year-old city in northern Israel. Israel's Antiquities Authority said Sunday the ancient city was discovered during preparations for a new highway interchange near Harish, a town roughly 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Tel Aviv, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

The Antiquities Authority said that during the dig, archaeologists also found evidence of an earlier settlement dating back 7,000 years underneath the city's houses.

It said that two nearby springs likely drew people to the area.


Explore further

Israeli archaeologists discover 7,000-year-old settlement

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: Israeli archaeologists claim to discover ancient city (2019, October 6) retrieved 11 August 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2019-10-israeli-archaeologists-ancient-city.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1202 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments