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US NewsArchaeology's Neolithic 'big bang' moment found in a 9,000-year-old city near Jerusalem

04:15  17 july  2019
04:15  17 july  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Israeli archaeologists reveal a huge prehistoric settlement discovered near Jerusalem , offering new insights into how civilisations developed around the end of the Stone Age.

Archaeology . 9 , 000 - year - old Neolithic city discovered in Jerusalem valley. A vast city that may have had as many as 1,500 to 3,000 inhabitants in its heyday 9 , 000 years ago was part of a sprawling Neolithic network of barter. Thousands of Neolithic arrow-heads, art and jewelry were found in a

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Archaeologists say a huge prehistoric settlement discovered near Jerusalem offers new insight into how civilisations developed around the end of the Stone Age.

The 9,000-year-old metropolis — pre-dating both Britain's Stonehenge and ancient Egypt's pyramids — was uncovered during a survey before the construction of a new highway, is one of the biggest ever found, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Tuesday.

The team estimated a population between 2,000 and 3,000 people, which would have constituted a large city for the time.

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9 , 000 - year - old figurine of an ox, discovered during archaeological excavations at Motza near Jerusalem . “Thousands of years before the construction of the pyramids, what we see in the neolithic period is that more and more populations turn to live in a permanent settlement,” said Vardi.

Remains of 9 , 000 - year - old Neolithic settlement unearthed outside Jerusalem . Describing the site as the largest of its kind "not just in Israel but in the Southern Levant," Vardi said in a phone interview that the settlement would have been home to 2,000 and 3,000 people, adding: "In comparison to other

Archaeology's Neolithic 'big bang' moment found in a 9,000-year-old city near Jerusalem A photograph taken on July 16, 2019 shows a partial view of a settlement from the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age), discovered during archaeological excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority near Motza Junction, about 5km west of Jerusalem.

It covered dozens of hectares near what is today the town of Motza, some five kilometres west of Jerusalem.

Jacob Vardi, co-director of the excavations at Motza on behalf of the authority, told The Times of Israel that the find gives archaeologists their "big bang" moment.

"It's a game changer, a site that will drastically shift what we know about the Neolithic era," Mr Vardi said.

He explained that the Neolithic period was a time where "more and more" human populations curbed migration and transitioned to permanent settlements.

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Archaeologists unearth prehistoric 9 , 000 - year - old ‘ city ’ near jerusalem . Archaeologists working together with a group of scientists have Unearth Prehistoric 9 , 000 - Year - Old ‘ City ’ Near Jerusalem Thousands of Neolithic arrow-heads, as well as art and jewelry, were found in a site once housing

The 9 , 000 - year old site was estimated to house between 2,000–3,000 people. Archaeologists say a huge prehistoric settlement discovered near He explained that the Neolithic period was a time where "more and more" human populations curbed migration and transitioned to permanent settlements.

Site touted as the Middle East's largest Neolithic find

Before the discovery, it was widely believed the entire area had been uninhabited in that period, during which people were shifting away from hunting for survival to a more sedentary lifestyle that included farming.

"This is most probably the largest excavation of this time period in the Middle East, which will allow the research to advance leaps and bounds ahead of where we are today, just by the amount of material that we are able to save and preserve from this site," said Lauren Davis, an archaeologist with Israel's antiquities authority.

Archaeology's Neolithic 'big bang' moment found in a 9,000-year-old city near Jerusalem © ABC NEWS A man holds a Neolithic figurine depicting a human face The excavation exposed large buildings, alleyways and burial places, evidence of a relatively advanced level of planning, the antiquities authority said in a statement.

The team also found storage sheds that contained large quantities of legumes, particularly lentils, whose seeds were remarkably preserved throughout the millennia.

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A huge 9 , 000 - year - old Neolithic settlement — the largest ever discovered in Israel, say archaeologists — is currently being excavated Photo by Yaels CC by 3.0. “It’ s a game changer, a site that will drastically shift what we know about the Neolithic era,” said Vardi in an interview with

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said on Tuesday, July 16, that a 9 , 000 - year - old Neolithic settlement had been uncovered just outside Jerusalem . Jacob Vardi, co-director of the excavations at Motza on behalf of the IAA, told the Times of Israel that the site was a “ Big Bang ” for prehistory

"This finding is evidence of an intensive practice of agriculture," the statement read.

Archaeology's Neolithic 'big bang' moment found in a 9,000-year-old city near Jerusalem Trays with findings from the archeological excavation site of a settlement from the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age), discovered during archaeological excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority near Motza Junction, about 5km west of Jerusalem, are exposed on July 16, 2019. "Animal bones found on the site show that the settlement's residents became increasingly specialised in sheep-keeping, while the use of hunting for survival gradually decreased".

Also found were flint tools, including thousands of arrowheads, axes for chopping down trees, sickle blades and knives.

Archaeology's Neolithic 'big bang' moment found in a 9,000-year-old city near Jerusalem Archeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority Jacob Vardi is pictured on July 16, 2019, at the archeological excavation site of a settlement from the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age), discovered during archaeological excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority near Motza Junction, about 5km west of Jerusalem.

If date estimates are correct, this civilisation's form of agriculture would also pre-date that of Victoria's Gunditjmara people, who created an elaborate series of channels and pools to harvest eels 6,600 years ago.

That site, known as the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, was recently listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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