Neolithic Jerusalem

By | Category: Travel destinations

Jerusalem is the most visited place in Israel. Any variety of attractions lure international visitors to the city. Now it looks as though another will be added to the list.

The neolithic settlement at Motza. This panoramic shot shows just how large the ancient city must have been. Image – Eyal Marco, Israel Antiquities Authority

It has been announced that an archaeological dig has turned up some Neolithic remains. Putting it like that is unlikely to attract tens of thousands more visitors but when I say that the Neolithic remains are vast, certainly the biggest ever found in Israel and probably the biggest in a region where you almost touch archaeology wherever you go then it might attract a few more people.

But if I say that the 9,000 year old site which will pre-date Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt and that it suggests a large city has been found then visitors might find the thought of seeing it a bit more tempting.

Leaving Jerusalem on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv motorway it takes just minutes to get to an outer suburb called Motza. By the motorway, this new city has been found. Nobody it seems suspected that such remains existed. Certainly nobody expected to find a city that stretches about half a kilometre long!  

Motza has already been the location of one considerable find. In 2012, excavations located a ninth century BC temple but the Neolithic settlement being at least 5,000 years older will carry more significance because of its size, rarity and the fact that it was thought the area was uninhabited in millennia gone by..

Thousands of arrowheads, axes, sickle blades, and knives, storage sheds containing large stores of legumes were discovered suggesting intensive hunting, animal husbandry, and agriculture.

Despite being in the area marked for infrastructure development, a significant percentage of the prehistoric site around the excavation will be preserved.

In a few years’ time tour buses will be using the new motorway to visit one of the very oldest sites yet found in Israel.

Jerusalem is the most visited place in Israel. Any variety of attractions lure international visitors to the city. Now it looks as though another will be added to the list.

It has been announced that an archaeological dig has turned up some Neolithic remains. Putting it like that is unlikely to attract tens of thousands more visitors but when I say that the Neolithic remains are vast, certainly the biggest ever found in Israel and probably the biggest in a region where you almost touch archaeology wherever you go then it might attract a few more people.

But if I say that the 9,000 year old site which will pre-date Stonehenge, the pyramids of Egypt and that it suggests a large city has been locate then visitors might find the thought of seeing it a bit more tempting.

Leaving Jerusalem on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv motorway it takes just minutes to get to an outer suburb called Motza. By the motorway, this new city has been found. Nobody it seems suspected that such remains existed. Certainly nobody expected to find a city that stretches about half a kilometre long!  

Motza has already been the location of one considerable find. In 2012, excavations located a ninth century BC temple but the Neolithic settlement being at least 5,000 years older will carry more significance because of its size, rarity and the fact that it was thought the area was uninhabited in millennia gone by.

Thousands of arrowheads, axes, sickle blades, and knives, storage sheds containing large stores of legumes were discovered suggesting intensive hunting, animal husbandry, and agriculture.

Despite being in the area marked for infrastructure development, a significant percentage of the prehistoric site around the excavation will be preserved.

In a few years’ time tour buses will be using the new motorway to visit one of the very oldest sites yet found in Israel.

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