Archaeologists found "New York antiquity" in Israel

6528x 18. 11. 2019 1 Reader
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At this time, Israeli archaeologists are picking up an ancient city from the Bronze Age from clay and sand. The town was by chance found by road workers. In addition, there is one more town below the city, even older than the first.

7000 years ago (ie between 5000 and 4000 BC), a settlement began to develop near the Tel Esur hill in Israel. This settlement could seem to inhabit up to 6000 people, and with its organized road network and public buildings it would also be respectable to our modern circumstances. Archaeologists involved in the highlighting work have said that the city is "the New York City of the Bronze Age, a cosmopolitan and detailed city with many thousands of inhabitants."

Tel Esur

Haaretz Magazine states: “In a scree survey, archaeologists estimated the work of the present city at the peak of the Early Bronze Age, while at the same time letting it be heard that the city could have up to 6000 inhabitants and overshadowed cities like Jericho or Meggido Archaeologists are used to finding smaller settlements, whose collection and exploration is obviously more difficult. However, the settlement of Tel Esur occupies an area of ​​160 acres, of which the team of experts has so far managed to pick up only 10%. “The place is 2 times or 3 times larger than the largest settlements we have found in that time. They can't compare with this giant. ”Said the head of the archaeologist team Yitzhak Paz told CNN.

What's more, the highlight shows that there are two cities built on top of each other. The older one could be an invaluable source of information about the period between the late Eneolithic (Copper Age) and the Early Bronze Age. “The scope of the elevation work allows us to determine the characteristics of this phase of Eneolith,” says archaeologist Dina Shalem. “We could call it the Tel Esuru culture. The differences between the late Eneolithic and the early Bronze Age are striking in both architecture and ceramics, but there is a gap between these periods that has not yet been explored. ”

This gap could be filled by a newly found settlement, which could have arisen earlier than anticipated. “For the first time, a city was found with every conceivable proof of organization: fortifications, urban planning, street systems, public spaces, etc.,” says Paz. “The dawn of urbanization is a topic that we have to continually review. We estimated its origins around 4000 BC, but we may not be heading far enough into the past. ”

The early settlement of Israel

Indeed, this has never been found in Israel, and since the surroundings of the Tel Esur Hill have remained densely populated for a long time, those who planned the city knew very well what they were doing. “The city was densely populated and well designed, with food storage silos and a network of streets and streets covered with stones to minimize the risk of flooding during the rainy season. Archaeologists have also uncovered public buildings, including a two-meter-thick fortification with evenly spaced towers and a cemetery behind the city made up of many burial caves. "The city has it all, burial caves, streets, houses, fortifications, public buildings," says archaeologist Itai Elad. This is a vista of ancient life, but also a reason to rewrite Israel's history books. "There is no doubt that this monument will radically change our view of the early settlement of Israel," Shal and Paz agree.

The city itself did not grow up overnight. On the contrary, it has grown halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa to its full size full 1000 years. “At the end of 4. Millennium BC, the settlement became a city, ”says Paz, adding that Tel Esur was perhaps 10 times more powerful than the legendary biblical city of Jericho. Another just highlighted city is located near Motza. This Neolithic city brought together over 3000 people. Tel Esur reaches twice this city. “Such a city could simply not have evolved without a controlling hand in the form of an administrative mechanism. This is proven by eg Egyptian instruments found and imitations of seals. It is a huge city, even a megalopolis compared to the cities previously found, which brought together people who lived in agriculture, traded in neighboring regions or even other cultures and kingdoms. These findings allow us to define the cultural characteristics of the inhabitants of this area in antiquity. ”


For example, there is a plethora of evidence of religious practices that stand on the found figures and adorn the facades of some buildings. “The 25 meters long building was supported by wooden columns on stone foundations. Evidence of religious practices has been found within, such as people-shaped figures or war-shaped seals depicting a cultural scene. Two massive stone altars were found around the building, one of which contained animal bones, supporting the theory that this place was used for religious ceremonies. There were no similar stones to be found in the area, which would mean that both the 10 and 15 tons were transported after they were knocked off from a distance of several kilometers, indicating the importance of this building and the efforts made to build the whole cities."

The largest and best stones were often used to build the most important buildings, especially religious buildings such as churches. Apparently Tel Esur was no exception. Paz has a few theories about leaving the city, but he doesn't want to be sure of anything yet. "There was research on this topic, which looked at possible natural reasons, such as the increase in moisture associated with the increase in flooding of this coastal plain," he says. “There is a possibility that the whole area was flooded and mud was formed, which made life in these places unbearable. There is still much to explore. ”This is one of the most important archaeological finds in Israel that will give the historians a closer look at the two great periods of history and the period between them, as well as the view of early urbanization and urban life in antiquity. Unfortunately, much of the monument will be lost forever when road workers return to work and lay the rest of the new highway over it.

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