Where it all began: 9,000-year-old city found near Jerusalem
Thousands of pieces of tools, jewelry, figurines, seeds, and other objects have been found at the site of a huge 9,000-year-old city from the Neolithic period uncovered in the land of Israel, where it all began.
Israel’s Antiquities Authority says the discoveries have changed historians understanding of the Neolithic period in the region, having previously believed that the Judea area was uninhabited during that era.
Archaeologists believe that the site, located near Motza Junction, was once a city housing as many as 3,000 residents.
The prehistoric city, with complex streets, cluster of buildings, homes, burial grounds, public compounds and ritual areas was unearthed during the work carried ahead of a new highway five kilometers from Jerusalem.
According to archaeologists, this is the largest ever Neolithic city discovered in Israel and the Levant and one of the largest settlements discovered from the New Stone Age in the world. The discovery is a game-changer due to its size and preservation.
Excavators found the remains of large buildings, with rooms that were once used for living, as well as public facilities, places of ritual and alleyways
Flint tools were found as well as arrowheads used for hunting and possibly fighting. Stone objects were also found – some in tombs, suggesting they were burial offerings.
Stone bracelets of different styles were also found. Their small size suggests they were worn by children, the researchers say.
Other items, including beads, were made of obsidian (volcanic glass) from Anatolia.