A 10,000-year-old home has been uncovered in Israel, proving a historic discovery in a nation known for its key archaeological finds.

The home was discovered in the Judean lowlands outside Jerusalem, during a routine dig as part of a highway expansion. Along with the ancient home, a 6,000-year-old cultic temple was also discovered.

Israel’s Antiquities Authority announced the findings yesterday, calling the finds proof of “a fascinating glimpse into thousands of years of human development.”

“Settlement remains were unearthed at the site, the earliest of which dates to the beginning of the eighth millennium BCE and latest to the end of the fourth millennium BCE,” the Authority said.

“We uncovered a multitude of unique finds during the excavation,” added Amir Golani, an Antiquities Authority researcher. “The large excavation affords us a broad picture of the progression and development of the society in the settlement throughout the ages. Thus we can clearly see that in the Early Bronze Age, 5,000 years ago, a rural society made the transition to an urban society.”

“We can see distinctly a settlement that gradually became planned, which included [streets] and buildings that were extremely impressive from the standpoint of their size and the manner of their construction. We can clearly trace the urban planning and see the guiding hand of the settlement’s leadership that chose to regulate the construction in the crowded regions in the center of the settlement and allowed less planning along its periphery.”

The finds are considered incredibly sophisticated for the times. The home, the oldest of its kind discovered in the Judean lowlands, shows direct evidence of ancient man’s transition into a permanent home life.

“Whoever built the house did something that was totally innovative because up until this period [local human groups] migrated from place to place in search of food,” the researchers said in a statement.

“Here we have evidence of man’s transition to permanent dwellings, and that in fact is the beginning of the domestication of animals and plants; instead of searching out wild sheep, ancient man started raising them near the house.”

The IAA is inviting the public to tour the excavated site tomorrow afternoon. Email adulam@israntique.org.il for more information.

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