Skip to comments.Galilee Drought Uncovers Oldest Village In The World
Posted on 09/24/2001 1:40:07 PM PDT by blam
September 23 2001 MIDDLE EAST
Galilee drought uncovers oldest village in the world
Dina Shiloh Tel Aviv
ISRAELI archeologists have found what could be the world's oldest village on the dried-out bed of the Sea of Galilee. The settlement, dating back 20,000 years, came to light in one of the worst droughts in recent years.
Thousands of items including huts, tools and fireplaces found at Ohalo, on the southwestern shore, give a unique insight into the semi-nomadic people who lived there towards the end of the early Stone Age.
"We found what every researcher dreams of finding," said Dani Nadel, who leads the Haifa University excavation team, "items used in everyday life, and small artefacts that tell us things we never even dreamed about in regard to the technology, society and environment of these people."
The items are in almost perfect condition because the water that covered them prevented decay. Nadel said the large quantities of seeds and other organic materials meant carbon-14 testing could be used to date them accurately.
"Usually dwellings from this period are not preserved, and we do not know how many they were, where they stood, the number, size, and orientation of their fireplaces, or how the living area was arranged," he said. "Here we found the most ancient huts in the world."
The brush huts - less than 2ft apart - were made with branches of oak and tamarisk trees, with the cracks stuffed with shrubs and grasses.
"These nomads ate mostly fish and fruit," Nadel said. "We are talking about 9,000 years before the beginning of agriculture, before the domestication of animals or plants. But we did find hundreds of thousands of fish bones, so they were fishermen. They also knew how to hunt water fowl, ravens, birds of prey, and even animals like the gazelle, fallow deer, fox, hare and turtle."
The team also found the skeleton of a man. Aged about 40 when he died and just over 5ft tall, he had his hands folded across his chest. Only one other skeleton from this period has been discovered in Israel.
Haifa University intends to display some of the treasures from Ohalo next year. The excavation ended last month and the team has left plenty of material for other archeologists to find when scientific techniques have become more developed.
"The finds unearthed by our team could serve as research material for each and every one of us until we retire," Nadel said. "But we should leave future archeologists things to discover, too."
Be prepared for the wave of creationist who will soon be here to tell you the huts are only 15 years old.
Presumably or a lot of subsidence(sp?).
Well, here I am :)
Hopefully they can come up with something better than carbon dating for this.
That's the Golan Heights across the lake in the background.
1. Map showing location of Ohalo II on the southwestern shore of the lake.
2. General plan of central area of excavation, as of the end of 1999 season.
3. General view of central area of excavation (1991). In center are three dark oval features (brush huts 1,2,3).
4. The remains of brush hut 1, during excavations. Note the dark line around the hut, which is composed of burnt material.
5. A reconstruction of brush hut no. 1. Identification of burnt wall remains indicate that branches of oak, willow and tamarisk were used for building the hut.
I agree with you on the carbon dating question.
An uncalled for swipe
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.