Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

7,000-Year-Old Metal Object Discovered in Israel

The copper owl buried with a woman is the oldest piece of copper ever discovered in the Middle East

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 22nd, 2014 in News » Israel

A copper awl discovered by Israeli archaeologists is said to be the oldest metal object ever found in the Middle East, with archaeologists claiming it is over 7,000 years old.

The tiny awl, just 4 centimeters long and 1 millimeter thick at the tip, was discovered in the ruins of an ancient village in Israel, Tel Tsaf, near the Jordanian border, buried with a woman and most likely made up of Caucasian copper.

According to researchers, the discovery of the awl suggests that the ancient village is actually much more historically significant than previously thought, indicating that the village had great wealth and commercial ties.

Tel Tsaf, while currently an archaeological site, was reportedly a village from 5100 B.C. to 4600 B.C, the middle of the Copper Age. It was first discovered in 1950, with archaeological digs continuing to take place in present day.

“The appearance of the item in a woman’s grave, which represents one of the most elaborate burials we’ve seen in our region from that era, testifies to both the importance of the awl and the importance of the woman, and it’s possible that we are seeing here the first indications of social hierarchy and complexity,” said one Dr. Danny Rosenberg, an archaeologist who works with the University of Haifa, who co-led the study alongside Dr. Florian Klimscha of the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.

Before the discovery, researchers believed that the region of Tel Tsaf only began to use metals in the second half of the fifth millennium BCE. But as the awl dates back to the late 6th millennium BCE, technological advancements in the area are now thought to have begun much earlier in the Middle East.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Professor Yosef Garfinkel found the awl in the grave of a woman (roughly 40 when she died), set in a wooden handle.

Dr. Rosenberg believes the awl was most likely buried with her as an offering, implying that she was an aristocrat or someone of high social status.

According to analysis by Prof. Sariel Shalev, an archaeologist at the University of Haifa, the copper most likely hails from the region of Caucasus, approximately 1,000 kilometers from Tel Tsaf.

“However, in this area far more is unknown than is known, and although the discovery of the awl at Tel Tsaf constitutes evidence of a peak of technological development among the peoples of the region and is a discovery of global importance, there’s a lot of progress still to be made and many parts of the wider picture are still unknown to us,” added Dr. Rosenberg.

Ontario Students Pass BDS Resolultion Trending Op-Ed: Losing Patience with Students for Justice in Palestine’s anti-Semitism Trending Ashdod Synagogue Hit By Rocket Fire Trending
 

The Ten Best Jewish Ice Bucket Challenges

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren

From Drake to Adam Sandler, here are some of the best challenges we’ve seen that benefit the ALS Foundation

Read More

REVIEW: The LOT’s ‘Little Mermaid Jr’ Is Colourful, Catchy and Captivating

August 22, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
REVIEW: The LOT’s ‘Little Mermaid Jr’ Is Colourful, Catchy and Captivating

The Lower Ossington Theatre’s adaptation of Disney’s popular 1989 film is a must-see family adventure.

Read More

7,000-Year-Old Metal Object Discovered in Israel

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
7,000-Year-Old Metal Object Discovered in Israel

The copper owl buried with a woman is the oldest piece of copper ever discovered in the Middle East

Read More

Ontario Students Pass BDS Resolultion

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Ontario Students Pass BDS Resolultion

The Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students unanimously voted to boycott Israel

Read More

Israelis Turn Bomb Shelter Into Underground Casino

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israelis Turn Bomb Shelter Into Underground Casino

Police find casino intact with cannabis plantation and tons of alcohol in Kiryat Gat bomb shelter

Read More

4-Year-Old Israeli Boy Dies in Mortar Attack from Gaza

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
4-Year-Old Israeli Boy Dies in Mortar Attack from Gaza

First Israeli child fatality brings death toll to 68, the first since Hamas violated ceasefire on Tuesday

Read More

Op-Ed: Losing Patience with Students for Justice in Palestine’s anti-Semitism

August 22, 2014 | By Elliot Hamilton
Op-Ed: Losing Patience with Students for Justice in Palestine’s anti-Semitism

SJP is far from the "social justice" movement it claims to be, as it partakes in some of the worst instances of anti-Semitism on college campuses

Read More

Ashdod Synagogue Hit By Rocket Fire

August 22, 2014 | By Ilanan Curiel
Ashdod Synagogue Hit By Rocket Fire

At least 50 rockets, mortars fired on southern Israel, with one landing near preschool and another striking an Ashdod synagogue, following violent day which saw over 100 rockets launched; IDF hit over 30 Gaza targets in response, two killed

Read More

More Headlines