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Early Bronze Age Megalopolis Discovered in Israel

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Israel FigurinesHARISH, ISRAEL—As many as 6,000 people may have once lived in En Esur, a 5,000-year-old site uncovered in northern Israel, according to a CNN report. Built on top of an earlier settlement, the city was situated at the crossroads of two trade routes, covered more than 160 acres, and consisted of planned roads, alleys, designated residential neighborhoods and public areas, a temple, and fortifications. “Our site is more than two or three times larger than the largest sites [in this area] during this period,” explained archaeologist Yitzhak Paz of the Israel Antiquities Authority. A stone basin in the temple’s courtyard may have been used during religious rituals, while stone figurines depicting humans and animals, as well as burnt animal bones, were found inside the temple. Paz said his team of researchers does not know why the city was abandoned, but flooding along Israel’s coastal plain may have played a role. To read about excavations at another Bronze Age site in Israel, go to "Cults of the Bronze Age."

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