BBC News

In pictures: 9,000 year-old settlement found in Israel

Published

Thousands of pieces of tools, jewellery, figurines, seeds and other objects have been found at the site of a huge 9,000-year-old settlement from the Neolithic period uncovered in Israel.

image copyrightIsrael Antiquities Authority

Archaeologists believe that the site, located near Motza Junction, 5km (3 miles) west of Jerusalem, was once a city housing as many as 3,000 residents.

image copyrightIsrael Antiquities Authority

Excavators found the remains of large buildings, with rooms that were once used for living, as well as public facilities, places of ritual and alleyways.

image copyrightIsrael Antiquities Authority

Flint tools were found...

image copyrightIsrael Antiquities Authority

... as well as arrowheads used for hunting and possibly fighting. Items from other periods, including this Bronze Age spearhead, were also found.

image copyrightIsrael Antiquities Authority

Stone objects were discovered - some in tombs, suggesting they were burial offerings. This is a figurine of an ox.

image copyrightIsrael Antiquities Authority

This figurine depicts a human head.

image copyrightIsrael Antiquities Authority

Stone bracelets of different styles were also found. Their small size suggests they were worn by children, the researchers say.

image copyrightIsrael Antiquities Authority

Other items, including these beads, were made of obsidian (volcanic glass) from Anatolia.

image copyrightIsrael Antiquities Authority

Israel's Antiquities Authority says the discoveries have changed historians understanding of the Neolithic period in the region, having previously believed that the Judea area was uninhabited during that era.

All pictures from Israel's Antiquities Authority

Related Topics

  • Archaeology
  • Israel