Prehistoric building uncovered near Tel Aviv

Israel Antiquities Authority workers during the archaeological excavation of the oldest building ever found in Tel Aviv, estimated to be 7,800-8,400 years old, Jan 10, 2010. (Assaf Peretz / Israel Antiquities Authority)

Israel Antiquities Authority workers during the archaeological excavation of the oldest building ever found in Tel Aviv, estimated to be 7,800-8,400 years old, Jan 10, 2010. (Assaf Peretz / Israel Antiquities Authority)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The remains of a prehistoric building, the earliest ever discovered in the Tel Aviv region, were discovered in Ramat Aviv.

The building is estimated to be between 7,800 and 8,400 years old, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday.

The archaeological excavation was carried out recently in the tony Tel Aviv neighborhood prior to the construction of an apartment building.

“This discovery is both important and surprising to researchers of the period," said archaeologist Ayelet Dayan, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who said it was the first time that archaeologists had encountered evidence of a permanent habitation that existed in the Tel Aviv region about 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," Dayan said. "The fertile alluvium soil along the fringes of the streams was considered a preferred location for a settlement in ancient periods."

Also uncovered in the excavation were a fragment of a base of a basalt bowl and animal remains — hippopotamus bones and teeth that probably belonged to sheep or goat.
 

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