|28 August 2004
Early Bronze Age city found in Israel
Israeli archeologists have uncovered a 5,000-year-old Canaanite city and a 2,000-year-old Jewish village from the Second Temple period alongside each other. The adjacent ancient sites, which were known to exist but previously lay untouched, lie on a barren, wind-whipped hilltop spanning 120 dunams near the present-day Israeli town of Shoham. The area of the sites was to be converted into an industrial zone, but the finds – which include the remnants of ancient streets in each city, being excavated now by archeologists from the Antiquities Authority – will be exhibited in an archeological park.
The rural Jewish town uncovered at the site existed from about 100 BCE to 135 CE, said archeologist Dr. David Amit. Several hundred people are estimated to have lived there. Excavations at the ancient village have uncovered a 2,000-year-old street, Jewish coins, and wine presses.
Adjacent to the Jewish village lies a 5,000-year-old Canaanite city from the Early Bronze Age, dating to approximately 3,000 BCE. The 70-80 dunam city, which was divided into a smaller upper and a larger lower level and was surrounded by a wall and watch towers, existed for up to 400 years, said Tel Aviv University archeologist Sarit Paz, who is heading the excavations at the site.
The well-planned city is thought to have been home to several hundred people. The builders of the nearby Jewish village used some of the original stones from the Canaanite city in building their own town, Paz said. The impressive remnants of a 5,000-year-old street, an assortment of pottery and cutting vessels, flint Canaanite blades, stone beads, and a variety of colored juglets, have been uncovered by Paz and her team.
Source: Jerusalem Post (25 August 2004)
Share this webpage: