A 9,000-Year-Old City Was Just Discovered


If someone asked you what the oldest city
in the world was, you might give a lot of different answers. Your first guess might be Athens or Rome,
or maybe somewhere in ancient Egypt. All great guesses, but when it comes to age,
none of them hold a candle to the 9000-year-old settlement recently found just outside the
town of Motza, Israel, a quick five-mile drive from the capital city of Jerusalem. Our journey of discovery begins, as all the
best ones do, with a highway in the desert. This is no dark and abandoned stretch of road,
full of coyotes and spooky hotels, but rather a brand-new interchange intended to relieve
congestion in the busy Jerusalem metropolitan area. Honestly, it’s not much of a desert either,
but arid subtropical valley doesn’t roll off the tongue nearly as well. Workers from Israel’s National Transport
Infrastructure Company discovered the site while excavating the network of tunnels that
would connect the new road to a nearby highway, and notified the Israel Antiquities Authority
of what they’d found. Little did anyone realize, they’d nearly
paved over one of the most significant archaeological finds of this decade. People have been living in the Middle East
for tens of thousands of years, long before they arrived in Europe, eastern Asia or the
Americas. But until recently, there hadn’t been any
evidence of major prehistoric settlements in that part of Israel. Now there’s not only evidence of an agricultural
society having existed in the region, but with an estimated population of up to three
thousand, it would’ve been the stone age equivalent of a major metropolis. While these aren’t necessarily the oldest
ruins in that part of the world, no one could’ve expected to find a major city in a place that
was supposed to have been almost entirely uninhabited. If you still don’t see why this is so important,
imagine finding Atlantis off the coast of Miami. Kind of a big deal, right? While that example might be a bit extreme,
the discovery that people were not only living in that part of the country, but had organized
a complex society thousands of years earlier than we’d thought, is a huge discovery. In fact, it’s such a big deal to researchers
that one expert working at the dig called it the archaeological equivalent of the “Big
Bang.” Now hold on, some of you might be saying,
doesn’t that seem like a bit much? It’s still just a bunch of stone age huts,
nothing to get too worked up about. After all, it’s not like they had roads
and temples and mother-of-pearl jewelry, right? Well, my oddly specific friend, the inhabitants
of this lost city had all of that and more. While words like Stone Age and prehistoric
might bring to mind hairy Neanderthals chucking spears at mammoths and sleeping in caves,
these ancient Israelis were much more advanced than that. While the city’s inhabitants lived thousands
of years before the invention of written language, that didn’t prevent them from having a complex
society with a rich culture and system of beliefs. Far from being a collection of huts, the settlement
consists of several hundred stone and plaster buildings that included everything from houses
and marketplaces to temples and tombs. There’s even evidence that some buildings
may have featured primitive forms of insulation and waterproofing. If that isn’t impressive enough, many of
the houses are laid out along what appears to have been a pre-determined grid of streets
and alleyways; a display of city planning that would put many ancient empires to shame. To archaeologists, this suggests a complex
system of government thousands of years before the construction of Stonehenge. And what did they find in these ruins? Well, we already mentioned they had jewelry
and tools made fromr a variety of materials, many of which are not naturally occurring
in that region of Israel. While some of the stone used in both jewelry
and decoration is still waiting to be identified, the presence of materials like mother-of-pearl
and obsidian suggests that the city was a major trade hub, exchanging goods with people
as far away as modern-day Turkey. Now, if you don’t like driving to the supermarket
on a workday, imagine crossing over a thousand miles of desert and mountains a few thousand
years before horses were domesticated. Despite the ruin’s proximity to modern Jerusalem,
the artifacts of this forgotten city are remarkably well preserved, allowing archaeologists to
gain insight into a society that left no written history. Among the recovered antiquities were a variety
of ceramic items, including not only pottery, but several small human and animal figurines. Archaeologists believe many of these have
served a ritual purpose, possibly depicting some manner of deities or spirits. Particularly noteworthy are the contents of
numerous burial sites scattered throughout the residential portions of the city. Not unlike the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs
and Viking raiders, these burial chambers contained a variety of tools and valuables. Not only does this reinforce the idea that
the people who lived there had their own system of traditions, but by doing so, they’ve
unknowingly helped modern archaeologists by preserving pieces of their daily life. In addition to art and jewelry, other finds
include a variety of stone and bronze weapons and tools, such as axes and arrowheads, as
well as knives and farm tools of varying shapes and sizes. We even have a pretty good idea what these
people ate, thanks to the astonishingly well-preserved contents of storage sheds and granaries scattered
around the city. In addition to finding an unheard-of number
of petrified lentil seeds, there’s evidence that the local diet included things like chickpeas
and sheep, and the occasional game animal. Man, this is starting to make me hungry. I might need to grab lunch after we finish
recording this. I wonder if I can find a place that serves
lamb with chickpeas around here. My meal plans aside, a stable source of food
was critical in keeping a complex society on its feet. Animal bones found nearby have led researchers
to believe that the city’s first inhabitants were hunter-gatherers that arrived in the
region sometime around ten thousand years ago. As centuries passed, they gradually moved
away from their nomadic lifestyles and reliance on wandering animal herds. Within a thousand years, not very long, relatively
speaking, this small tribe of hunters had become a bustling city. As for how they managed this, geography did
the early settlers more than a few favors in establishing themselves. When most westerners think of the Middle East,
we think of barren mountains and empty deserts. While Israel has no shortage of sand, there
are also plenty of inland waterways, around which, societies were able to form. A reliable source of water allowed their society
transition from hunter-gather to farmers, creating a stable source of food. Experts say this led to something of a golden
age in the last few hundred years of the city’s existence, as it grew to its fullest size
and began trading farther afield. As it turns out, when you no longer need to
follow herds of wild animals around, it frees up lots of time to do things other than following
herds of wild animals around. And here I was wondering why I can never get
anything done. While archeologists have a surprisingly clear
picture of life in this prehistoric settlement, there’s a lot we still don’t know about
the people who lived in it. We don’t know what language they spoke,
the specifics of their belief system or even what they called themselves. Any history or legends would’ve been passed
down orally, and with nine thousand years between them and us, it’s likely those stories
have been lost to the centuries. Still, studying places like this can teach
us a lot about our earliest ancestors. And if this city could remain hidden for so
long, imagine what else might still be out there waiting to be uncovered. Speaking of discoveries, Israeli authorities
recently recovered a stolen mask dating from around the same period. This eerie artifact originated from a site
about eighteen miles further south, near the city of Hebron, and for an ancient piece of
rock, it’s had a pretty exciting journey. In early 2018 the mask was stolen by looters
who tried to sell it on the black market. This illegal sale was reported to the Israel
Antiquities Authority’s Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit, a special task force that
investigates unauthorized excavations like this one. After a brief but thorough investigation,
the ATPU –boy that’s easier to say — apprehended the looter and recovered this valuable, if
strange looking, artifact. The mask itself is carved from polished limestone
and engraved with subtle details like teeth and even cheekbones. Archeologists believe the mask, one of only
fifteen of its kind, played an essential role in the belief systems of the people who inhabited
the region 9000 years ago, and may have been carved in the likeness of a respected ancestor. The bright side to the mask’s adventure
(wink wink) is that not only has it been recovered, but instead of sitting untouched in a private
collection like many similar artifacts, it’s being examined by archaeologists, eager to
learn more about its mysterious creators. So, the next time you’re out in the woods,
maybe not even that far from home, keep an eye on what’s around you. That pile of rocks might not be anything at
all, or it might just be the key to unlocking one of history’s mysteries. Or it might be a pile of rocks. Has this story inspired you to grab your shovel
and fedora and start exploring? Hey Indiana! Do you have a favorite lost civilization? Let me know in the comments; I always love
to hear from you! And if you liked this video, don’t forget
to give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. Hit that subscribe button if you haven’t
already and stay on Brightside for more videos just like this one. Really.

100 thoughts on “A 9,000-Year-Old City Was Just Discovered

  1. if you are passionate to know about old civilizations then you must read the holy Quran in which you gonna find many stories about the old prophets and what their people look like

  2. The thumbnail….. i threw my pc now its cracked and im on phone i can prove it: ♡♡♡♡♡😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

  3. I traveled a lot, and the oldest stone era location was Gobustan, near city y of Baku, Azerbaijan. Its oficially recognizd by UN and protect d by Unesco. Check it, please

  4. I'm looking everywhere for more information about the ancient MITTANI Empire. Appreciate if anyone can recommend any books or journal articles about them. I've heard they had advanced Equestrian skills and horse drawn chariots.

  5. Bright sider's, thanks for your efforts. I love bright side vedios and are informative.. for other commenters, don't look for loopholes.. correct it if you have more accurate information ,in a good way.

  6. Perhaps this was a city that was around when the Confounding of the Languages happened in bible???? 🤷🏻‍♂️

  7. if you're going to put out these ancient cities videos, the very least you can do is include images of the site in question. pictures of Petra are cool, but have nothing to do with the story. And please stop with the animation, cartoons, and stock footage. If you are trying to be a documentary, be a documentary.

  8. 😊the oldest religion has the oldish history & dynasty records as well. People should be ashamed for killing the descent of the oldest humans.

  9. Where are the actual SOURCES for this information? And actual (non animated) pictures and graphics?

    Bright side should just start putting a “For entertainment purposes only” disclaimer on there videos.

  10. gobekli tepe is something like 12000 years old. although it's inconclusive whether it was a temple or funerary complex, a seasonal camp of some kind, or an actual town.

  11. But if you recall this area was not called Isreal at that time!
    It could very well be called Ancient Palistine

  12. Wow I never new that before probably because I am 7 year old girl whose name is Hooria bye I'm going to watch another video on bright side!!!!!

  13. This video is ignoring the historical truth about the land . Its always called Palestine. These attempts to fabricate the truth will not change historical truth . What is called Israel is a fabricated name to to hide the truth

  14. Cmon how did they even know how long this city has been there

    I think Scientist are trying to fool us all

  15. Since carbon dating was proven to give false-positive and wrong results I really wonder how you measured the time that passed since that town was made.

  16. Not so fast Egypt or anywhere with a decent climate. Only in Europe did man 1st have the idea of working together and progress.

  17. Oh, open your minds. The history books are being re-written. Mainstream archaeology had some good, well-founded ideas about our past, but they has been proven wrong in many ways, why? It's called qualified guesses. So hold on to your hat, coming years will be awesome for anyone interesting in ancient history.

  18. 9000 years ago !!
    5000 years before the birth of Abraham himself !!
    so you should say at 2:56 Palestine Elsewhere and not to mention a non existing tribe !!
    so you are talking about Palestine and it's super glorious civilization way much before the entrance of the expelled thieves of gold escaped from Egypt

  19. Israel rell name is Palestin in the 1948th Jewish people took over Palisti and Jewish people killed 100000 of Palestinian and they still do after taking Palistin over they named Palistin Israel
    🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸 FREE PALISTIN

  20. Where's the actual evidence of the recently discovered city?You're just narrating without actual proofs, or showing irrelevant videos

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