Archaeologists have been studying megalithic tombs in northern Israel. They recently excavated one burial chamber with a mysterious example of rock art on its ceiling. This heap of stones and boulders is an ancient construction known as a dolmen.
Dolmens are found across the Levant, but this one is notable for two reasons: its size and its rock carvings. The Levant refers to an area encompassing modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
'Dark Ages' tomb
Archaeologists discovered the tomb while studying a field of dolmens near Shamir Heights in northern Israel.
The central chamber is capped by a huge 50-ton boulder, that likely would have required organized manpower to put in place.
The rectangular chamber at the center of the tomb was the main burial chamber. At least three sets of human remains were found there, which suggests it was used for multiple burials over time.
Inside the tomb
A peek inside the dolmen showed that there was artwork on the ceiling.
Rare rock art
The engravings depict straight lines attached to the center of an arc. Archaeologists haven't yet deciphered the meaning of these shapes.
A three-dimensional model allowed researchers to get a clearer look at the rock carvings.
Colored beads were uncovered in the archaeological excavation inside the dolmen.
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