This handout photo released by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2016, shows work on uncovering of an ancient settlement in Jerusalem. (Israel Antiquities Authority via AP/Assaf Peretz)
Archaeologists find ancient, 7,000-year-old settlement
February 24, 2016
Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a 7,000-year-old settlement. It was found in northern Jerusalem. They are describing it as the oldest discovery of its kind in the area.
Israel's Antiquities Authority said the excavation exposed two houses. They had well-preserved remains and floors containing pottery vessels and flint tools. It also had a basalt bowl.
Ronit Lupu is the authority's director of excavations. She said the items are typical of the early Chalcolithic period. It began around 5,000 B.C. Similar developments have been found elsewhere in present-day Israel. But they have not been found in Jerusalem.
"This is the first time we found architecture of this kind in Jerusalem itself," she said. "We are talking about an established society. Very well organized. With settlement. With cemeteries."
People began to use tools made from copper during the Chalcolithic period. They continued to use stone tools as well.
The site was found while authorities were doing roadwork. They were working in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat.
It remains unclear how large the development was. The excavation covered an area of about 500 square feet. There were no immediate plans to expand the work, Lupu said.
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