Prehistoric Building Found in Modern Israeli City

By: Ian Deitch - AP Writer
By: Ian Deitch - AP Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) - Archaeologists have uncovered remains of an
8,000-year-old prehistoric building as well as ancient flint tools
in the modern city of Tel Aviv, Israel's Antiquities Authority
announced Monday.

The building is the earliest structure ever found in Tel Aviv
and changes what archaeologists previously believed about the area
in ancient times.

"This discovery is both important and surprising to researchers
of the period," said Ayelet Dayan, the archaeologist who led the
excavation. "For the first time we have encountered evidence of a
permanent habitation that existed in the Tel Aviv region 8,000
years ago," she said.

The three-room structure is believed to be have been built in
the Neolithic period - when humans went from a nomadic existence of
hunting and gathering to living in permanent settlements and
engaging in agriculture.

The remains were found near the Ayalon river which Dayan said
probably influenced the ancient dwellers' decision to settle.

Pottery shards found at the site helped archaeologists date the
building.

Ancient artifacts including flint tools and hippopotamus bones
from between 13,000 and 100,000 years ago were found nearby.

Tel Aviv, Israel's financial and cultural center on the
Mediterranean, was built on barren sand dunes a mere 100 years ago.
The ancient remains were uncovered during construction in the
affluent Ramat Aviv neighborhood.


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