Neolithic arrowhead the oldest artifact found in Jerusalem

i24NEWS

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Mount Zion, a Benedictine Basilica built over the site where Virgin Mary is said to have fallen asleep for the last time, in Jerusalem's Old City, on January 15, 2021.
AHMAD GHARABLI / AFPMount Zion, a Benedictine Basilica built over the site where Virgin Mary is said to have fallen asleep for the last time, in Jerusalem's Old City, on January 15, 2021.

The arrowhead’s only imperfection is a slightly blunted tip, but its sides remain razor-sharp

An artifact from the Neolithic period – some 7,000 years old – was recently found in Jerusalem, possibly making it the oldest relic of its kind found in the holy city.

The artifact, found on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion, is an arrowhead the size of a fingernail, fashioned from white flint with pink veins, Haaretz reported.

Slightly longer than half an inch, it is also one of the most complete artifacts of its kind ever found in the area of Jerusalem’s Old City, said Professor Shimon Gibson.

Gibson, a director of the Mount Zion excavation project alongside professors Rafael Lewis and James Tabor, is working with his team to sort through millions of artifacts uncovered from the recent excavations.

The arrowhead’s only imperfection is a slightly blunted tip, but its sides remain razor-sharp. Back in the Neolithic era, the miniature weapon was a deadly one, the archaeologists told Haaretz.

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William Stumpff, a graduate of the University of North Carolina of Charlotte in the United States, spotted the arrowhead using the flotation technique to weed out tiny fragments from boxes of soil samples from the site.

The earliest tools found hitherto were from the later Chalcolithic period. Objects from each era might seem similar, but this is not the case with the arrow tip, Gibson explained to Haaretz.

He knows this through typology: it looks like Neolithic arrow tips found elsewhere in Israel, and it exhibits masterful knapping and very delicate workmanship.

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