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Photos: Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

Neolithic site

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Eyal Marco/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists are excavating the largest known Neolithic site in Israel.

[Read more about the Neolithic Excavation]

Ancient settlement

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Eyal Marco/Israel Antiquities Authority)

The site is about 9,000 years old. It was likely a crop-farming community that also kept goats and other animals.

Big excavation

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists Hamoudi Khalaily (right) and Jacob Vardi (left), directors of the excavations at Motza on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, inspect the site.

Stone figurine

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Clara Amit/Israel Antiquities Authority)

A 9,000-year-old figurine found at the site that depicts a human face.

An ox

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Clara Amit/Israel Antiquities Authority)

A stone figurine of an ox found at the Neolithic site.

Obsidian beads

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists found beads made of obsidian (volcanic glass) at the site that came from Anatolia, which is now modern-day Turkey.

Little bracelets

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

The archaeologists unearthed many small bracelets, which were likely worn on the upper arm by children.

Flint knife

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

This flint knife is one of the thousands of flint tools found at the Neolithic site.

Spearhead

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Other groups continued to use the site after the Neolithic. This spearhead — found buried in a warrior's tomb — dates to the middle Bronze Age.

Stony site

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists excavate the stony site.

Bird's-eye view

Israel's largest Neolithic excavation

(Image credit: Eyal Marco/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists have covered part of the site with a tent to protect it from the elements.

Laura Geggel

Laura is an editor at Live Science. She edits Life's Little Mysteries and reports on general science, including archaeology and animals. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and an advanced certificate in science writing from NYU.