Neolithic Beads and Figurines from Western Galilee
A large agricultural settlement extending over 20 hectares (50 acres) has been uncovered at Ein Zippori in the western Galilee. It is related to the Wadi Rabah culture that prevailed in Israel in the sixth to fifth millennia BCE, and collections of decorative beads in a large basin and ostrich images and figurines were found and demonstrated to the Press. The site excavators claim that these and other items are evidence of an early agricultural economy with extensive trade links.
Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens Interbred in Carmel
At the Nahal Me’arot caves in the Carmel range, recently granted UNESCO Heritage status, archaeologists have found tools of both Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens in close proximity. Daniel Kaufmann, working at the site, claims that the interbreeding of the two species, which genetic research has suggested existed in non-aggressive mating between the two sub-species, took place at this site where there is evidence of peaceful living side by side as early as 80,000 years ago.
Human Remains in Deep Well in The Jezreel Valley
In an emergency excavation preceding the enlargement of a junction at Enot Nisanit on Road 66 in the western Jezreel Valley, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have uncovered a well approximately 8m deep x 1.3m in diameter. The large diameter was reduced by two capstones set over the mouth. At the bottom of the well were found skeletal remains of a young woman and an older man of thirty or forty years of age. The excavation director, Yotam Tepper, thinks the water became undrinkable after the bodies had fallen into the well, and many romantic suggestions have been made as to why the two skeletons were found here together. The well shaft also contained remains of animal bones, charcoal and other organic materials which have enabled the finds, including the human bones, to be dated to the early Neolithic period, about 8,500 years ago. A deep well of this early period is unique in Israel, according to Dr. Omri Barzilai of the IAA Prehistoric Branch, and indicates the population’s impressive knowledge of the hydrology of the area and their ability to work together to undertake such a considerable community project.
Stephen Gabriel Rosenberg,
W.F. Albright Institute of Archeological Research, Jerusalem