The remains of a prehistoric Tel Aviv building,
which is the earliest ever discovered in the area and estimated to be
7,800-8,400 years old, have been unearthed in an archaeological
excavation, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Monday.
The excavation was carried out prior to the construction of an apartment building in the "Green Fichman" project in Ramat Aviv.
Ancient artifacts thought to be between 13,000 and 100,000 years' old were also discovered there.
Archaeologist Ayelet Dayan, director of the excavation on behalf
of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the discovery was "both
important and surprising" to researchers of the period.
"For the first time, we have encountered evidence of
a permanent habitation that existed in the Tel Aviv region 8,000 years
ago," she said. "The site is located on the northern bank of the Yarkon
River, not far from the confluence with Nahal Ayalon. It is assumed
that this fact influenced the ancient settlers in choosing a place to
live. The fertile alluvium soil along the fringes of the streams was
considered a preferred location for a settlement in ancient periods."
Remains of an ancient building that consisted of at least three rooms were discovered at the site.
The pottery shards found there attest to the age of the site, which dates to the Neolithic period.
During the Neolithic period (also known as the New Stone Age),
man went from a nomadic existence of hunting and gathering to living in
permanent settlements and began to engage in agriculture.
In addition, flint tools such as sickle blades
were discovered, as well as numerous flakes left over from the knapping
of these instruments, which are indicative of an ancient tool-making
Flint implements ascribed to earlier periods were also
discovered at the site: a point of a hunting tool from the Middle
Paleolithic period (100,000 BCE) and items that date back to 13,000
Other interesting finds were a fragment of a base of a basalt
bowl and animal remains, including hippopotamus bones and teeth that
probably belonged to sheep or goats.