Jerusalem, it appears, was a popular place even during prehistoric times. Israeli archaeologists have uncovered a large concentration of stone utensils on the southeastern rim of the city which were used by prehistoric man hundreds of thousands of years ago, Israel's Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday. The antiquities were uncovered during a routine archaeological supervision at a building site near Kibbutz Ramat Rachel. A subsequent excavation carried out at the site in the wake of the find uncovered hundreds of such utensils, which archaeologists date to the Middle Paleolithic Period, some 50,000-200,000 years ago. The reason for the stone-age settlement at the site was apparently its proximity to exposed rock from which the men made their tools, according to Omri Barzilai and Michal Birkenfeld, the two archaeologists heading the dig. "It is logical to assume that man during this period subsisted by hunting animals and by collecting wild plants, and that he did not remain in one permanent place but wandered from place to place in search of important resources such as food and water," the archaeologists said. Although history-rich Jerusalem is immersed in archaeology from the Biblical period onwards, archaeologists have previously found only two other sites in the city - near Mount Scopus and on Emek Refaim Street - that date so far back.

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