Researchers uncovered the remains of an impressive ancient metropolis in northern Israel. The En Esur archeological site near present-day Harish in Haifa district is about 5,000 years old, and the largest and most central one ever discovered in the Middle East region, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said Sunday. "This is the New York of the Early Bronze Age in our region," enthused the archaeologists in a statement.
Cosmopolitan and planned, the city had been, according to their estimates, about 6,000 inhabitants had. The work on the archaeological site of En Esur therefore exposed a fortified city wall, residential areas, public squares and streets and alleys. Aerial imagery taken by drones shows the amazing dimensions of the facility.
During their excavations, the researchers also made the position of a temple with a stone basin, which was probably used for religious rituals.
Yoli Schwartz / Israel Antiquities Authority / dpa
Stone water basin on the site of the excavation site En Esur
There found animal and human bone remains to draw conclusions about the cultural habits of the inhabitants.
In addition, the archaeologists found traces of a presumably 2000 years older settlement from the Copper Age – directly under the remains of the Bronze Age metropolis.
As the Bronze Age, we refer to the period in human history when weapons and tools were mainly made of bronze – an alloy of copper and tin. In Central Europe, this era covered the period from about 2200 to 800 BC. The Early Bronze Age began again a thousand years earlier.