Archaeologists unearth ancient building in TA

Remains of prehistoric building, estimated to be 7,800-8,400 years old, discovered in Tel Aviv.

The remains of a prehistoric Tel Aviv building,which is the earliest ever discovered in the area and estimated to be7,800-8,400 years old, have been unearthed in an archaeologicalexcavation, 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 behalfof the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the discovery was "bothimportant and surprising" to researchers of the period.

"For the first time, we have encountered evidence ofa permanent habitation that existed in the Tel Aviv region 8,000 yearsago," she said. "The site is located on the northern bank of the YarkonRiver, not far from the confluence with Nahal Ayalon. It is assumedthat this fact influenced the ancient settlers in choosing a place tolive. The fertile alluvium soil along the fringes of the streams wasconsidered 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 inpermanent settlements and began to engage in agriculture.

In addition, flint tools such as sickle bladeswere discovered, as well as numerous flakes left over from the knappingof these instruments, which are indicative of an ancient tool-makingindustry.

Flint implements ascribed to earlier periods were alsodiscovered at the site: a point of a hunting tool from the MiddlePaleolithic period (100,000 BCE) and items that date back to 13,000BCE.

Other interesting finds were a fragment of a base of a basaltbowl and animal remains, including hippopotamus bones and teeth thatprobably belonged to sheep or goats.