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Ancient Building Found in Modern Tel Aviv

Archaeologists have uncovered the earliest building ever found in Tel Aviv, dating to the New Stone Age, along with ancient flint tools.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/11/2010, 12:26 PM / Last Update: 1/11/2010, 1:37 PM

Tel Aviv, which celebrated its 100th birthday last year, is also the home of a pre-historic building dating back eight centuries, Israel Antiquities Authority archeologists have discovered. They also found flint tools and bones of a hippopotamus they estimate to be up to 100,000 years old.

Some religious Jewish scholars explain that there is no contradiction between this type of dating and those of the Bible because in the description of the Creation, certainly before the fourth day when the Bible cites the creation of the heavenly bodies with which we measure time , a "day" is not defined and could mean an enormous time span. Other scholars reject scientists' findings as theories or provide other explanations.

The new discovery in Tel Aviv was made during excavations for a new apartment building. “This discovery is both important and surprising to researchers of the period,” said archaeologist Ayelet Dayan, director of the excavation. “For the first time we have encountered evidence of a permanent habitation that existed in the Tel Aviv region about 8,000 years ago."

“The site is located on the northern bank of the Yarkon River, not far from the confluence with Nahal Ayalon," she said. "We can assume that this fact influenced the ancient settlers in choosing a place to live. The fertile soil along the fringes of the streams was considerate a preferred location for a settlement in ancient periods."

Dayan explained that remains discovered were of an ancient building consisting of at least three rooms, and that pottery shards found there attest to the age of the site, which dates to the Neolithic period. "Flint tools, such as sickle blades, were discovered as well," she said. "Flint implements that are also ascribed to earlier periods were discovered at the site,” including a point of a hunting tool that may date back 100 centuries.

Archaeologists also uncovered a fragment of a base of a basalt bowl and  teeth that probably belonged to a sheep or a goat in addition to hippopatomus bones.