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Pre-Historic Atlit Yam

PDF Document: Atlit Yam: A Prehistoric Site on the Sea Floor off the Israeli Coast
Journal of Field Archaeology Volume 20:1993:133-157 [JSTOR] (4.2 MB)

Article: The Pre-Pottery Neolithic Site of Atlit-Yam (Israel Antiquities Authority) Abstract: A settlement 400 meters off the shore of Israel it is the largest (60000 square meters) and most deeply submerged (8-12 meters below sea level) prehistoric settlement ever uncovered along the Mediterranean coast. The 1)architecture of the dwellings 2)lithic tool assemblages and 3)radiocarbon dating indicate habitation during the late Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) Period circa 8100-7500 BP. Floral and faunal remains suggest that the village economy was complex and was based on several different food resources acquired through hunting -- incipient herding -- fishing -- farming. These probably permitted year-round occupation. More importantly however Atlit Yam is among the earliest communities to reveal evidence of maritime activity. From this site new insights into maritime pursuits and the domestication of animals and plants as well as early evidence for exploitation of water tables, the construction of wells in prehistoric times and sea level changes will be forthcoming. Further study of Atlit-Yam may also contribute to our understanding of the process of colonization of the Mediterranean islands ...

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium