Discovery of settlement from Chalcolithic period made in Jerusalem during excavation before road construction
Israel’s Antiquities Authority has confirmed that they have found remains of ancient settlement in Jerusalem from the Chalcolithic period. The discovery was made on Wednesday during an excavation ahead of construction of a road to the neighborhood of Shuafat in northern Jerusalem.
According to the Authority, the settlement is from the Chalcolithic period, approximately 7,000 years old. The dig revealed pottery vessels, two homes, a wall and floors.
The Head of the Israel’s Antiquity Authority (IAA) Prehistory Branch, Amnon Barzilai, stated on the discovery “Now in the new dig we found remnants of a village, an established village… The Chalcolithic period is known in the Negev, the coastal plain, the Galilee and the Golan, but is almost completely absent in the Judean Hills and Jerusalem. Although in recent years we have discovered a few traces of Chalcolithic settlements, such as those at Abu Gosh, Motza Junction, and the Holyland compound in Jerusalem, they have been extremely sparse. Now, for the first time, we have discovered significant remains from 7,000 years ago… Now we can know that even in the periods prior to the First and Second Temples, even in the Chalcolithic period, it was an inhabited area.”
Director of Excavations from the IAA, Ronit Lupo stated that “On completion of the excavations at Shuafat, it is quite evident that there was a thriving settlement in the Jerusalem area in ancient times… Thousands of years later, the buildings uncovered are of a standard that would not fall short of Jerusalem’s architecture. This discovery represents a highly significant addition to our research of the city and the vicinity.” She added “Apart from the pottery, the fascinating flint finds attest to the livelihood of the local population in prehistoric times, small sickle blades for harvesting cereal crops, chisels and polished axes for building, borers and awls, and even a bead made of carnelian indicating that jewelry was either made or imported,” describing the discovery as “established settlements with economies”.