Middle East

In pictures: 9,000 year-old settlement found in Israel

Thousands of pieces of tools, jewellery, figurines, seeds and other objects have been found at the site of a huge 9,000-year-old settlement from the Neolithic period uncovered in Israel.

Site of the Neolithic Period settlement near Jerusalem Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority

Archaeologists believe that the site, located near Motza Junction, 5km (3 miles) west of Jerusalem, was once a city housing as many as 3,000 residents.

Excavation works Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority

Excavators found the remains of large buildings, with rooms that were once used for living, as well as public facilities, places of ritual and alleyways.

Flint knife Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority

Flint tools were found...

Spear head Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority

... as well as arrowheads used for hunting and possibly fighting. Items from other periods, including this Bronze Age spearhead, were also found.

Figurine of an ox Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority

Stone objects were discovered - some in tombs, suggesting they were burial offerings. This is a figurine of an ox.

Figurine, depicting a human face Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority
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This figurine depicts a human head.

Bracelet Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority

Stone bracelets of different styles were also found. Their small size suggests they were worn by children, the researchers say.

Beads made of obsidian Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority

Other items, including these beads, were made of obsidian (volcanic glass) from Anatolia.

Excavation site Image copyright Israel Antiquities Authority

Israel's Antiquities Authority says the discoveries have changed historians understanding of the Neolithic period in the region, having previously believed that the Judea area was uninhabited during that era.

All pictures from Israel's Antiquities Authority

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