Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Israeli archaeologists unveil remains of centuries-old city

Israeli archaeologists unveil remains of centuries-old city

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Israeli archaeologists work on Sunday at the ancient site of En Esur (Ein Asawir), near the Israeli town of Harish, where a 5000-year-old city was recently uncovered. JACK GUEZ/afp

Israeli archaeologists unveil remains of centuries-old city

Israeli archaeologists recently unveiled the remains of a 5,000-year-old city they said was among the biggest from its era in the region, including fortifications, a ritual temple and a cemetery.

“We have here an immense urban construction, planned with streets that separate neighbourhoods and public spaces,” Yitzhak Paz of the Israel Antiquities Authority said at the site near the Mediterranean in the country’s centre.

He called it a major discovery in the region from the Bronze Age.

The archaeological site known as En Esur “is the largest site and the most important from that era” in the region, said Itai Elad, another archaeologist overseeing the excavation.

“It is 650 dunams (0.65sq km), meaning double what we know.”

A ritual temple was found within the ancient city along with rare figurines with human and animal faces, they said.

It also included burnt animal bones in a stone basin that they called proof of sacrificial offerings.

The excavation allowed for an older settlement from some 7,000 years ago from the Chalcolithic period to be uncovered as well, though smaller than the other discovery.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An Israeli archeologist shows a figurine of a human face unearthed at the archaeological site of En Esur (Ein Asawir). JACK GUEZ/afp

Paz said the ancient city was the “first steps in the process of urbanisation” in what was Canaan at the time.

Dina Shalem, another of the archaeologists, noted it included fortifications some 20m long and 2m high as well as a cemetery.

Around four million fragments were found at the site, including pieces of pottery, flint tools and vases of stone and basalt, said Elad.

Some of the tools came from Egypt, the archaeologists said.

Standing before a wooden table where some of the findings were displayed, Elad showed some of the more impressive of the fragments, including a club that could have been used as a weapon.

“Thousands of people lived here from agriculture and commerce,” said Paz, with estimates putting the number at between 5,000 and 6,000.

He said the site was abandoned in the third century BC for unknown reasons.

The excavations carried out over the course of two and a half years included the participation of 5,000 teenagers and volunteers.

The dig preceded the construction of a road in the area, a project whose plans were modified to preserve the site.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

    The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development will coordinate with relevant ministries over the establishment of a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province after it was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Hun Sen defends decision to dock Westerdam cruise ship

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday hit back at critics who say he allowed the Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Sihanoukville for political reasons. Speaking at an annual gathering of the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said he acted to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

  • Organic vegetable retailer unveils QR code scheme for origin source

    Organic vegetable retailer Natural Agriculture Village has introduced QR codes on its product packaging, which will allow consumers to see where their produce comes from. Natural Agriculture Village president Bun Sieng, who is also a member of local distributor Green Gold, told The Post on

  • Cool heads will defeat Covid-19

    Since Covid-19 was first reported as a world health issue, cruise ships have been the worst to suffer after airlines. The experiences of those who were initially trapped on the Covid-19-stricken Diamond Princess are unimaginable. The cruise ship was rejected from docking at one