Archaeologists discover 5,500-year-old city gate in Israel | Science and the planet

Archaeologists have discovered a 5,500-year-old city gate in southern Israel. Authorities said this makes it the oldest gate yet found in the area.

The gate was discovered at the Tell Arani excavation site during construction work on a water main, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. This discovery made experts think about the beginnings of urbanization in the region.

“This is the first time that such a large gate from the Early Bronze Age has been discovered,” says Emily Bischoff, director of the excavation. The construction of the gate probably required great effort, since the stones were transported from afar and the bricks and walls of the fortifications were specially made.

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“This gate was not built by one or a few individuals. The fortification system is evidence of a social organization that marks the beginnings of urbanization. Until now, experts have assumed that urbanization in the region began around 5,200 years ago, 300 years later.

“It is likely that any passer-by, merchant or enemy who wanted to enter the city would have passed through this impressive gate,” adds Martin David Pasternak, a researcher for the International Antiquities Society.

“Not only did the gate defend the settlement, but it also sent the message that one entered an important strong settlement that was well-organized politically, socially and economically,” Pasternak said.

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Denton Watson

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