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Railway construction in Israel unearths ancient settlements


Archaeological surveys performed ahead of the construction of a new railway line in Israel have uncovered two settlements complete with arrowheads, stone axes, and broad bean seeds.

According to Dr. Yitzhak Paz and Dr. Ya?akov Vardi, excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “For the first time in the country, entire buildings and extensive habitation levels were exposed from these early periods, in which the rich material culture of the local residents was discovered”. The ancient settlement remains ascribed to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period were discovered on top of the bedrock in which the ancient inhabitants hew different installations, and even built plaster floors in several spots. “We found a large number of flint and obsidian arrowheads, polished miniature stone axes, blades and other flint and stone tools. The large amount of tools made of obsidian, a material that is not indigenous to Israel, is indicative of the trade relations that already existed with Turkey, Georgia and other regions during this period”. According to the archaeologists, “Another unique find that can be attributed to this period is the thousands of charred broad bean seeds that were discovered together inside a pit. The Neolithic and Chalcolithic societies were agrarian societies that resided in villages, and it was during these periods that the agricultural revolution took place, when plants and animals were domesticated. This is one of the earliest examples of the proper cultivation of legumes in the Middle East”.

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Story: Israel Antiquities Authority | Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority

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