Israel's capital, Jerusalem, is not just an important biblical place, where Jesus Christ grew up. It also increasingly becomes a wealthy source of important archeological discoveries that offer experts an idea how people lived in the area in ancient times.
Now, archeologist report having unearthed another set of important archeological finds with the discovery of an ancient settlement in Jerusalem. The settlement has artifacts and two stone houses that date back 7,000 years ago making the excavation the oldest of its kind in the city.
The discovery was made by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) while conducting a salvage excavation prior to the construction of a new road at the Shuafat neighborhood in north Jerusalem.
The archeologists discovered walls measuring up to five stones high and were still standing a few meters below the ground.
They also unearthed pottery shards, gemstone beads, basalt bowl, flint tools and more, which experts dated to 5,000 BCE, the beginning of the Chalcolithic era, or the Copper age, when men started to use copper tools for the first time marking a revolutionary advancement from the stone tools that they have previously used.
IAA director of excavations Ronit Lupo said that the find shows that Jerusalem had a thriving settlement in ancient times and that this was longer than previously believed. Earlier evidences suggested that the holy city was inhabited for only 5,000 years, during the early Bronze Age from between 3,000 to 2,800 BCE.
"The buildings uncovered are of a standard that would not fall short of Jerusalem's architecture," Lupo said. "This discovery represents a highly significant addition to our research of the city and the vicinity."
Lupo likewise said that the discovery shows of the local population's livelihood in prehistoric times. The small sickle blades, for instance, were used for harvesting cereal crops. A bead made of a gemstone known as carnelian also indicated that a jewelry was made or imported by the inhabitants of the area.
Lupo said that animal bones that were found at the site will be analyzed to understand the dietary and economic habits of those who once lived in the area.