| 7 July 2013
Stone Age arrowheads and blades found in Israel
Archaeological excavations which were conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Judean foothills near Eshta'ol, before laying a sewer line, have unearthed evidence that the area started attracting agricultural entrepreneurs as far back as 9,000 years ago.
According to Benjamin Storchen, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The ancient findings we unveiled at the site indicate that there was a flourishing agricultural settlement in this place, and it lasted for as long as 4,000 years." There is an abundance of findings: pottery and stone tools, flint tools, including those used to harvest wheat and for housework, and arrowheads used for hunting animals and as weapons, as well as beads and bone artifacts.
The archaeological artifacts indicate that the first settlers arrived about 9,000 years ago, during a period called Pre-Ceramic Neolithic, which includes the earliest evidence of organized agriculture. The site continued to flourish, and reached the peak of its development in the early Canaanite period, about 5000 years ago. It appears that the Canaanite site was part of a large settlement, which came to an end for unknown reasons some 4,600 years ago.
The Canaanite period is characterized by the consolidation of large rural communities, which were dispersed all across the country. The economy of these villages relied on field crops, on orchards and on livestock farming, which continue to characterize in today's typical Mediterranean agriculture.
Storchen explains that "These findings indicate a broad and well-developed settlement in the area of the Judean foothills, near the spot where two local rivers, the Kislon and the Ishwa, meet. These two riverbeds, which today are dry, were alive with streaming water in ancient times, which provided the necessities of life for the local community and allow them to develop thriving agricultural systems alongside an economy based on hunting. The evidence to that are flint warheads, discovered in the same excavation."
Edited from The Jewish Press (30 June 2013)
Share this webpage: