A submerged 7000-year-old village and seawall demonstrate earliest known coastal defence against sea-level rise

Autoři: Ehud Galili aff001;  Jonathan Benjamin aff002;  Vered Eshed aff003;  Baruch Rosen aff004;  John McCarthy aff002;  Liora Kolska Horwitz aff005
Působiště autorů: Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel aff001;  Maritime Archaeology Program, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia aff002;  Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, Israel aff003;  Independent researcher, Kaplanski St. 26 Petah Tikva, Israel aff004;  National Natural History Collections, Faculty of Life Science, The Hebrew University, E. Safra Campus, Jerusalem, Israel aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222560


We report the results of underwater archaeological investigations at the submerged Neolithic settlement of Tel Hreiz (7500 – 7000 BP), off the Carmel coast of Israel. The underwater archaeological site has yielded well-preserved architectural, artefactual, faunal and human remains. We examine and discuss the notable recent discovery of a linear, boulder-built feature >100m long, located seaward of the settlement. Based on archaeological context, mode of construction and radiometric dating, we demonstrate the feature was contemporary with the inundated Neolithic settlement and conclude that it served as a seawall, built to protect the village against Mediterranean Sea-level rise. The seawall is unique for the period and is the oldest known coastal defence worldwide. Its length, use of large non-local boulders and specific arrangement in the landscape reflect the extensive effort invested by the Neolithic villagers in its conception, organisation and construction. However, this distinct social action and display of resilience proved a temporary solution and ultimately the village was inundated and abandoned.

Klíčová slova:

Archaeological dating – Archaeology – Built structures – Cattle – Culture – Neolithic period – Paleoanthropology – Radioactive carbon dating


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2019 Číslo 12