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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
As an associate editor for Live Science, Laura Geggel covers general science, including the environment, archaeology and amazing animals. She has written for The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site covering autism research. Laura grew up in Seattle and studied English literature and psychology at Washington University in St. Louis before completing her graduate degree in science writing at NYU. When not writing, you'll find Laura playing Ultimate Frisbee.