2,700-year-old farmstead discovered
Archaeologists also uncover a silo and a 1,500-year-old monastery.
In most instances it's what's on the surface that draws attention to a construction site, but in historically significant places there's often also the matter of what lies beneath it.
Case in point: Ahead of construction of a new apartment block in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, Israel, archaeologists have uncovered a farmstead that dates back nearly three millenia.
The farmhouse, which the archaeologists believe to be about 2,700 years old, had 24 rooms when fully operational. A large silo – a storage compartment for grain – was discovered in the courtyard. Other discoveries included numerous millstones, used to grind the grain into flour, stone oil presses, and two silver coins from the fourth century BCE that bear the likenesses of the goddess Athena and the Athenian owl.
According to the archaeologists, this farmstead and other similar ones operated for centuries until the immediate area was abandoned in the Hellenistic period. Not until the fifth century was it settled again. The society that arose built, among other things, a monastery found on one of the hills near the farmhouse. Dating to a comparably youthful 1,500 years old, the monastery included a church with colorful mosaics.
Also discovered were an oil press, residential quarters, stables equipped with mangers and troughs, and this lamb sculpture.
The discovery, made in the last days of December, capped a remarkable year for Israeli archaeologists. Among several big discoveries during 2015 were the unearthing of a fort in Jerusalem, the discovery of a 5,000-year-old beer keg and, most recently, the discovery of a 6,000-year-old wand-like object.
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