7,500-Year-Old Well Excavated at an Underwater Site
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA—A fresh-water well in the submerged Neolithic site of Kfar Samir in Israel is being investigated by a team including Ehud Galili of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of Haifa, and Jonathan Benjamin of Flinders University. “At the Kfar Samir site, the water well was probably abandoned when sea levels started to rise and the fresh water became salty so people threw food scraps and animal bones down the well instead,” Benjamin said. The team will examine soil samples for pollen and other clues to the people’s diet and possible trade relationships, and look for organic materials such as plant fibers, seeds, and olive pits. “As they were a pre-metal society we expect to find stone tools; perhaps weapons made of flint, and needles made of bone,” he added. Benjamin will also work with John McCarthy of Wessex Archaeology to develop a 3-D mosaic of the well using photogrammetry. “The technique is not new in theory, but only very recently has the technology caught up to allow us to use it underwater, which we have with exceptional results. This is a wonderful tool for underwater archaeological site recording,” he said. To read about a ritual Neolithic artifact from the Levant, see "Artifact: Bone Wand."
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