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19 December 2012
Israeli archaeologists unearth 'elite' Stone Age society

Artefacts unearthed in northern Israel have researchers convinced they have discovered the remains of an elite society, with strong commercial ties with cultures as distant as Mesopotamia and Anatolia, in current Turkey. The artefacts unearthed belong to the Chalcolithic period, over seven millennia ago, and have been identified as a part of the local Wadi Rabah culture.
     Archaeologist Yair Milevski, who headed the excavation together with Nimrod Getzov, said, "This kind of commerce was not uncommon, but what's special is that we have a large collection of items in the same place." Among the artifacts are bowls containing hundreds of colored flint beads, engraved earthenware and palettes decorated with ostriches, showing influence from Mesopotamia and Syria.
     "We know that there are few cases in the southern Levant with such patterns on palettes or other artifacts, even in the Near East. We believe there was a common background of ideas or beliefs that reflects continuous commercial activity," Milevsky said. "The good news is that we will continue excavating other areas at Ein Tzipori, where we know there are other periods like the pre-pottery Neolithic (age), dating back more than 10,000 years in time," the researcher added.

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