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Egyptian trading post at Tel Erani in Israel older than previously thought


Located on the outskirts of Kiryat Gat in the Southern District of Israel, the Tel Erani archaeological site is a repository of many a mystery, which Polish archaeologists from Jagiellonian University in Kraków have been unravelling for six years.

Egyptian trading post at Tel Erani in Israel older than previously thought
Credit: Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University
With this year’s excavation season concluded, the archaeologists discovered that the oldest artefacts on the site may date as far back as to the Amratian culture, also called Naqada I, that is to 4,000 BC. As a result, the ancient Egyptian trading post at Tel Erani might turn out to be much older than initially believed and possibly the first settlement of Egyptians in this foreign land.


According to archaeologists, this is evidenced by the discovered artefacts, namely bread moulds, everyday-use objects and earthenware. The archaeologists also discovered a much older building from the one they found in the previous excavation season. Moreover, the researchers reached the undisturbed soil that signifies the “onset of settlement activities, at least in this place.”

Egyptian trading post at Tel Erani in Israel older than previously thought
Credit: Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University
Throughout the excavation season, the archaeologists continued research by a wall that had been discovered in 2018. “We managed to confirm the date of its construction. We may now say that it is over 5,300 years old,” said the Polish researchers. The archaeologists will continue researching possibly the oldest defence wall in Israel in the upcoming excavation season.


The head of the archaeological mission Professor Krzysztof Ciałowicz said that it is very likely that earthenware had been produced in Tel Erani – something evidenced by lots of ashes and marks of burning. “Surely they are not remnants of a burnt-down structure. Moreover, we’ve got various types of slag here. Lab research has shown that they are copper-free and that is why we think they came from earthenware production,” said the professor.

Egyptian trading post at Tel Erani in Israel older than previously thought
Credit: Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University
Last year’s research by the Kraków archaeologists proved that the inhabitants of Lower Egypt maintained relations with the southern Levant where Tel Erani lies. “We proved that [the relations] were very lively,” said Professor Ciałowicz, adding that both regions were cooperating with one another closely in 4,000 BC. Copper and olive oil flowed into Egypt and animal and fish meat was transported in the opposite direction.


The archaeological mission is financed by Poland’s National Science Centre and is carried out in cooperation with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Source: Polandin [September 09, 2019]

TANN

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