Israeli archaeologists have discovered evidence of a 7,000-year-old human settlement in northern Jerusalem in a dig conducted in the Shaft neighborhood. The dig was organized and funded by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation.

Remnants discovered from what archaeologists have said is the Chalcolithic period include buildings, pottery, flint tools, and a basalt bowl. That period in early human history is known for being the first time that humans used copper tools.

“Remains from the Chalcolithic period have been found in the Negev, the coastal plain, the Galilee, and the Golan, but they have been almost completely absent in the Judean Hills and in Jerusalem,” explained Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) Prehistory Branch Chairman Dr. Omri Barzilai.

“We also recovered a few bones of sheep, goat, and possibly cattle,” said IAA Excavations Director Ronit Lupo. “These will be analyzed further in the Israel Antiquities Authority laboratories, permitting us to recreate the dietary habits of the people who lived here 7,000 years ago and enhancing our understanding of the settlement’s economy.”

Lupo added, “Besides for the pottery, the fascinating 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, awls, and even a bead made of carnelian (a gemstone), indicating that jewelry was either made or imported.”