Archeologists Discover 8,000-year-old Building in Tel Aviv

Hippopotamus bones and teeth that probably belonged to sheep or goat also discovered at site.

Remains of a prehistoric building, the earliest ever discovered in the Tel Aviv region and estimated to be between 7,800 and 8,400 years old, were recently discovered in an archaeological excavation in Ramat Aviv.

Ancient artifacts thought to be 13,000 and 100,000 years old were also discovered there.

Archaeologist Ayelet Dayan, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said that "this discovery is both important and surprising to researchers of the period. For the first time we have encountered evidence of a permanent habitation that existed in the Tel Aviv region 8,000 years ago."

"The site is located on the northern bank of the Yarkon River, not far from the confluence with Nahal Ayalon. We can assume that this fact influenced the ancient settlers in choosing a place to live. The fertile alluvium soil along the fringes of the streams was considered a preferred location for a settlement in ancient periods," she said.

During the Neolithic period (also known as the New Stone Age) man went from a nomadic existence of hunting and gathering to living in permanent settlements and began to engage in agriculture.

Remains of an ancient building with at least three rooms were discovered at the site. The pottery shards that were found there attest to the age of the site, which dates to the Neolithic period. In addition, flint tools such as sickle blades were discovered, as well as numerous flakes left over from the knapping of these implements, which are indicative of an ancient tool-making industry.

Flint implements that are also ascribed to earlier periods were discovered at the site: a point of a hunting tool from the Middle Paleolithic period and items that date to c. 13,000 years ago.

Other interesting finds were also uncovered in the excavation, among them a fragment of a base of a basalt bowl and animal remains - hippopotamus bones and teeth that probably belonged to sheep or goat.