|17 December 2014
Submerged Neolithic village found in the Mediterranean
Sea levels have been rising for tens of thousands of years. Today we have technology to help us combat the effects, but even so, a small increase can have a devastating effect on coastal habitats. Unfortunately this technology was not available in the prehistoric era and coastal settlements had to be abandoned as the sea levels rose. Such is the case with a 7,500 year old Neolithic village, recently discovered under the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Haifa (Israel).
Investigations are being carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority, under the guidance of maritime archaeologist Ehud Galili. The research is centred on a well, which is currently under 5 metres of water. Team member Jonathan Benjamin is quoted as saying "Water wells are valuable to Neolithic archaeology because once they stopped serving their intended purpose, people used them as big rubbish bins. At the Kfar Samir site the water well was probably abandoned when sea levels started to rise and the fresh water became salty, so people threw food scraps and animal bones down the well instead."
Mr Galili went on to add "As they were a pre-metal society we expect to find stone tools, perhaps weapons made of flint, and needles made of bone. We are also hoping to find organic material such as plant fibres, seeds and evidence of domestic crops such as olive stones, which we can date".
Edited from International Business Times (10 December 2014)
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