Going Paleo

Prehistoric site in Israel offers menu for a Paleolithic diet

Prehistoric Nesher Ramla

Animal bones discovered at a prehistoric site near Ramla, Israel, provide insight into the Middle Paleolithic diet. Photo: University of Haifa.

Archaeologists excavating at the Nesher quarry in Israel have discovered a prehistoric site containing an extraordinarily large number of animal bones. The site, located near the city of Ramla, 14 miles southeast of Tel Aviv, is believed to have been settled 170,000 years ago.

Salvage excavations led by Dr. Yossi Zaidner of the University of Haifa’s Zinman Institute of Archaeology uncovered a unique site that combined cave-living with open-air settlement. In a pit about 100 feet deep and 300 feet wide, great quantities of auroch bones (an extinct type of wild cattle) were discovered along with the bones of rhinoceros, horses, fallow deer, gazelles and land turtles.

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“The discovery was a complete surprise to us, and we’re still not certain what the site was used for—perhaps for hunting, perhaps as a meeting place. Another avenue of investigation is that the pit might have been used as a giant trap,” Zaidner told Haaretz.

This rare prehistoric site dates to the Middle Paleolithic period (from 250,000 years to about 40,000 years ago). Associated with the hunter-gatherer Mousterian culture, the site is among the oldest human settlements discovered in the Middle East.

Zaidner and his colleagues published their findings in the Journal of Human Evolution.

Read more about the prehistoric site discovered in the Nesher quarry.


Related reading in Bible History Daily:

Why Study Prehistoric Israel?

Manot Cave Skull Links Modern Humans to Neanderthals

12,000-Year-Old Shaman Funeral Reflects Natufian-Period Changes

“Lay Some Flowers on My Grave”: Oldest grave flowers discovered in Israel

No Matches? No Problem. Ancient Fire-Making in Israel

The Ancient Bean Diet: Fava Beans Favored in Prehistoric Israel


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  1. Bob says

    Where do you get 170,000 years? How could you possibly date it that far back unless by completely making it up, or using a false scale. I thought this was a biblical website. Get this secular garbage out of here.

  2. Bob says

    You might as well said you found this on another planet because by dating this back 170,000 years you’ve dated it to an imaginary place.

  3. Kim says

    TOTALLY AGREE with Bob!!!!! Stop believing in secular “science”! It is wrong and unbiblical…read Genesis 1 if you can’t believe that, how can you believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, both are only possible through Father God!

  4. Geoffrey says

    I AGREE WITH BOB AND KIM! The bones are probably from the dinosaurs that Adam and Eve killed and feasted on.

  5. Matthew says

    Given that Genesis 1 starts with the beginnings of the universe from ‘ex nihlio’ including time itself, anything archaeology in these ancient dig sites is fair game and informative. “Navigating Genesis” by Hugh Ross meticulously demonstrates no contradiction in the findings of 170,000 year old paleontology with scripture. Thank you scholars for keeping us informed. Carry on.

  6. david says

    Based on currant theory assertained from soil samples strata etc, I would say more like 170,025 give or take a month or so. What? well prove me wrong then. Why can’t I make silly guesses too?

  7. Mary Joanne says

    I agree there should be a statement of what type of tests were done to date these bones. Some new dating tests are very good and some are not.

  8. Annika says

    Hugh Ross believes that there was death before Adam sinned and that:

    God created Adam about 10,000–60,000 years ago (after the Aboriginals arrived in Australia 40,000 years ago). Neandertals were not true humans but soulless hominids.

    He is not a good source for either apologetics or science.

  9. Wanda says

    How’d they determine the date.? Radio carbon dating shows that all radio carbon is out of the organic matter after 100,000 yrs. They just make crap up to fit their evolution agenda.. Either you believe the Bible or you don’t The original Hebrew in Genesis for day means one 24 hr period.

  10. Sandi says

    Yep – i’m disappointed that BAR has gone lib. There was a time when BAR stood steadfast in its commitment to Biblical truth. BAR has succumbed to the hopelessness of attaining credibility with the liberal philosophers who spout the nonsense of millions and billions of years for creation. If God couldn’t do it as recorded in Genesis, He isn’t a God at all, but a myth. It’s ludicrous to say you believe in a God who is limited in ability, strength, imagination, or desire to create the world and all therein in a brief period of time. Is God a man that He should lie? Look it up, BAR, it’s a question you need to answer before you continue publishing liberal drivel that is unscientific and awash with supposition dressed to look like “science” .

  11. David says

    the findings are very interesting. However, it sad we must always bow to Darwin like a golden calf.

  12. Stan says

    when can we expect corrective truth?

  13. Rebekah says

    @Wanda – where does the Bible define ‘day’ as one 24 hour period? Where on earth have you got that from? How did they know what an hour was? How did they know there were 24 hours in a day? You’re talking nonsense. I can read Hebrew so feel free to be as technical as you want.

  14. Eve says

    You don’t need to believe the Hugh Ross’ fantasy of life and death before Adam and Eve in order to explain ancient starlight or soil. There is a Bible-based theory called Ancient Universe/Recently Terraformed Earth which basically states God created the universe “in the beginning,” then He named all the stars and created angels; and about 6,000 years ago He terraformed the Earth in six 24-hour days as recorded in Genesis 1. (The scientific explanation is at http://www.kneelingmedia.org/windowsofheaven/)
    The unscientific assumption is that the artifacts are the same date as the soil.

  15. Kim says

    @Rebekah: In Genesis 1:5- And God (Elohyim-plural as in: God the Father, God the Son-Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit) called the light Day (yowm- as opposed to night-a 24 hour period), and the darkness he called Night (layil). And the evening (‘ereb) and the morning (boqer) were the first day (yowm).
    Since you can read Hebrew this must be very sophomoric to you…sorry

  16. Alan says

    If you want to believe the world is only about 6000 years old, believe it but do not make a fool of yourself by saying that your reasoning is “scientific” or that the science is wrong. If you do not believe in science, then stop using the internet, TV, antibiotics, electricity, cars, phones and all the other modern conveniences. Remember, nowhere in the bible does G-d tell us that there is electricity. Therefore, electricity does not really exist. Furthermore, do not try to travel by airplane because the bible specifically states that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around the earth.
    G-d created the universe and everything in it. Anything science discovers just adds to the majesty of her creations. Do not limit the powers of the Eternal’s creativity by believing that creation can not be as science discovers.

  17. Paul says

    There are untold different systems of religious belief in the world. Each claims to be the only truth. Therefore 99.9% of religions must be wrong. It is arrogant and clueless to believe that yours is the only true religion in the face of this fact. Get some humility and open your mind.

  18. Terri says

    You know, there is no Biblical reason to believe in a young earth. You can believe in creation/intelligent design and see the world as millions of years old. Bishop Usher’s dating has long been recognized as flawed because (A) it began after the fall which could have been thousands or millions of years after creation and (b) geneologists often skipped entire generations. And some of the starting points he used for figuring backwards were questionable. Whatever the age of the earth unless you are willing to say that physics doesn’t work the same way here as it does in other parts of the universe, the stars are defintely billions of years old because we can measure their distance from earth and light travels at a more or less fixed rate. So if we can see a star that is one million light years away, that light has been in existence at least 1 million years. And I believe God created the light. Therefore, creation took place at least that long ago.

  19. Ric says

    Eratostenes established the sad truth about creationism before 195BCE in that any history to be true could only date only after 776BCE or the first Olympics. The Roman historian Marcus Terentius Varro 116-27BCE supported Eratostenes rule. Christian fathers of the Imperial Roman period led by Africanus broke the rule using ancient Egyptian and Babylonian textual histories to evolve a world history that dated back to ca. 5050BCE. In his work, he concluded Jesus would return in 501 AD. As the year 501 AD approached St. Jerome broke Africanus’ world chronology determining that sometime about 4000BCE God created the world and everything. He concluded that Jesus would return sometime around 2000 AD. Archbishop Ussher using the work of the 1st Baronet Sir John Marsham verified by Sir Isaac Newton created his world history including the time of creation in 4004BCE. He concluded that Jesus would return in 1996.

    I read the sad postings of creationists wondering if God didn’t create science who did? Honestly, I believe creationists and their distaste of science reflects more their jealousy of science that cannot break the laws God set for it before he created life to enjoy his perfect creation Earth.

    I strongly encourage BAR to continue to speak the truth about time almost as ancient as the Ancient One of Days, and let the creationists go if that is their poor choice.

  20. david says

    Using the bible itself one can see that the creative days were long unspecified time periods because in Gen 2:4 it says summing the whole seven days up:THE DAY THAT GOD MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH..So obviously these days don’t refer to literal 24 hour periods

  21. shankar says

    Leave such topic discussion, get ready ourself for the second coming of Jesus with full of rightgeousness and with purity.

  22. GENE says

    I agree with David. The creative days were clearly long epics of time in preparing the earth after its creation in Genesis 1:1. To help prove this, notice that the seventh day of rest has not yet ended. Genesis did NOT say “evening and morning, a seventh day”. Carefully read Hebrews, chapter 4 and notice that God’s day of rest continues, with humans being allowed, in a symbolic way, to enter into Jehovah’s rest day with him.

  23. Sylvia says

    God can do anything, so if He wants to do it in six days, fine….but if He is the author of Intelligent Design with all the patience of eternity, that should be fine, too. It is better to have a friendly family disagreement about these things, and argue your points rightly, than get personal and hurtful.

    BTW, how can Neanderthals have been soulless? One of the first things they knew about them was that they buried their dead with flowers. Even elephants lovingly caress the bones of those they loved when they visit where they died. I believe there was a lot more love invested in creation than we like to believe.

  24. Gary says

    The Big Bang and the Creation:

    None of you have considered this. In the Scriptures, Hashem created the earth and all that is in it except for man in five days of Hashem. These are not men’s days. The sixth day is the day man was created. It was one of Hashem’s days, not men’s. You will tell Hashem how long one of His days is?

    The seventh day was created for man. That is the first day of men. The seventh day is when man came to formalize in his mind the knowledge that he was given by Hashem into the Scriptures. Therein is found the promised rest.

    This article discusses events of the sixth day of Hashem. Adam is first man, red man, the man of the clay of Eden, the one shaped by the hand of Hashem; that does not necessarily mean first Homo sapiens. This is in the same manner that Jacob lay his head down on the unhewn rock, and his mind and heart were opened and sacrificed to Hashem, before he crossed over to meet his brother Esau. As Hashem breathed life into Adam, so did he also touch Jacob, and put the life into his children as a testament for all time. Adam hid from Hashem; Jacob wrestled with Him. Adam is first man; and his children chose wives for themselves from among the others. Others were there, but they were not men of Hashem. Adam was the first to see through the veil.

    The universe of the Scriptures is thousands of years of man old. The universe of Hashem is far more ancient, if measured in the days of man, rather than in the days of Hashem.

    The scientific theory of the expansion of the universe starts with a pre-existing singularity of no size or time that always was, and contained everything. Scripture calls it the Word. Of an instant it expanded, and the binding forces weakened enough so that light could escape. “Let there be light.” With expansion, the waves of energy became particles, which formed atoms. With expansion, these atoms coalesced into spinning clouds, and stars were placed in the firmament, and their fires ignited. Planets and moons were formed from the dust gathered around them. The planets cooled, and atmospheres were collected and formed the sky and the dawn and dusk, and night was separated from day on the spinning planets.

    With time, the rains that landed could stay, and the waters and the continents were divided into their rightful places. As the seas cooled, and surface bombardment and volcanism decreased, single-celled organisms, then plants, then fish, formed in the sea, and colonized the surface. The animals and birds then sprang forth. Higher forms of animals came; and then, there was Homo sapiens. One day, one among them looked around, and realized that what was invisible and was beyond was the force that drives all of this. With his recognition of the presence of Hashem, Adam was born, just as Jacob was born the next day as Israel.

    Evolutionists owe a great, red-faced debt to Genesis. They shamelessly plagiarized it, in its entirety. This is to be expected, for all of science initially grew out of the speculations of religious men. The only incompatibility between Genesis and the Big Bang theory of the evolution of the universe is the order of the creation of the fish, the birds, and animals; but, if read correctly, in the way that Hebrew literature works, it is not really incompatible. This leaves you with the conundrum of the days. But Hashem’s day is not yours. This you must recognize. The limits imposed upon you are not imposed upon Hashem. The Day of the Lord is a very long day…

    You also have to consider that there are other worlds, are other realms, which of course includes other dimensions. A 6,000 year old universe in one dimension, a 4.6 billion year old solar system in another, a 26 billion year old universe in another, and a universe with no beginning in another dimension are not incompatible. Any theoretical physicist can tell you this. Space and time are warped by a particular presence. The deeper science goes down into the wormhole of sub-atomic particles, the more physicists start to appreciate the Scriptures.

    We each live in our own dimension. Since they are close in nature, we interact easily. There are many more than can be imagined; the Prophets have seen some of them. Those that are similar to ours can interact to a degree with us. Those that are dissimilar do not interact as well. This is dark matter. And those that are vastly dissimilar have very little interaction with our dimensions. They are essentially undetectable to us, but they are there. Countless dimensions, of differing times and spaces. There is far more dark matter than is suspected, as there are components of the universe that have yet to be thought of or considered, that were all contained within the singularity of the Word.

    The expansion of the universe, at the command of Hashem, are both truths. The timeless universe is the 252 billion year old universe is the 26 billion year old universe is the 6,000 year old universe. They are not mutually exclusive, as the universe contains all things, all realms, all dimensions. And Hashem holds the entire universe within His hands. So stop arguing; it all depends upon the dimension you are in.

  25. david says

    Who’s Hashem? I don’t remember such wording as being any kind of recognizable form of the Almighty (causes to become )God YHWH of the children of Israel.

  26. Peter says

    Certainly any time someone tries to inject an actual date into a Biblical Archaeological find, many will introduce contention. Before I was saved, frankly I could not have cared less how old the Earth, the Universe or the dinosaur bones in the ground were, but as I have read and studied the Bible for the past few years I came to agree with the young Earth theories.
    As seen by Gary’s massive diatribe above, it takes a great deal of maneuvering to put millions and billions of years into the plain reading of Genesis, while thousands of years are quite easy to explain in both the English and original Hebrew wordings.

    That being said, ~90% of the comments have little to do with the find and everything to do with the author’s stated unverifiable age of the discovery. The Bible indicates we should not get into this argument as it distracts and detracts from the Mission: Salvation through Faith in Christ Jesus. Blessings to all of my Christian brothers and sisters that they are so passionate on this issue- but I pray this passion also translates to their Witness.

  27. David says

    Hashem is a Jewish euphemism for a name of G-d; it prevents taking His name in vain.
    Undoubtedly, the scientists have methods of dating that are not enumerated in the article. That doesn’t mean it’s a guess.
    And lastly, BAR has always existed as a scientific journal. It has NEVER been a verification for fundamental religion.

  28. mike says

    They don’t date the bones dummy, they date the geology Pffffff.

  29. Patricia says

    I am someone who is NOT an expert in archeology. But, for some reason I read the comments and wonder WHY ALL THE SNIDENESS? Why cannot an opinion be expressed without putting someone else down or why the need to be snide?

  30. Robert says

    The scriptures are works of theology not natural science.
    Just as study of the natural sciences reveals God’s creative power and inginuity, so the study of archeology is constantly validiting that what we read in the scriptures is true, placing it before the unbelieveing world’s noses. So BAS uses material to validate the biblical record to our so called modern world of materialism. That’s why I an so greatful to BAS and all the work they do. The modern science of Archeology confirms the biblical accounts bringing an added excitment to the reality of the Word of God. I believe that dates and seasons are all held in God’s authority. Not even the Son knows when the Father will restore all things. To think that we can date creation is I think, a bit risky. C.S. Lewis suggests that we follow the truth where ever it leads. Go back four hundred years and the christian journals might have written about the absurdity that certain people are believing that the earth is round! What nonsense! The earth is flat and square! Haven’t you read in the book of Revelation about the angels gathering the elect from the 4 corners of the earth? How can it be round! Praise God those days are way behind us. Yes I believe that if the scientific methods reveal that the geology in which the bones were located are 170,00 years old, them we should not be so quick to discard that information. Let’s press on in unity and love and learn to love one another despite our differences. After all we can rest in that one day we will find out the answer to many of our questions.

    God Bless
    Rob B

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