Oldest human survivals found near Tel Aviv to reveal wealth of information on early humans

Published 31.08.2016 15:57
Updated 31.08.2016 16:28
Inside Qesem Cave (Photo: Ron Barkai, Tel Aviv University)
Inside Qesem Cave (Photo: Ron Barkai, Tel Aviv University)

The Qesem Cave, accidentally discovered on a road construction outside of Israel's Tel Aviv in October 2000, remains as a source for the wealth of information on early humans.

The findings in the cave show that early humans were occupying the site 200,000 ago. Being one of the most important pre-historic sites in the world since it was found, the Qesem Cave draws considerable attention by archeologists from all over the world.

The cave, which is 90m above sea level, is located in the western mountain ridge of Israel between the Samaria hills and the Israeli coastal plain.

One of the major discoveries at the Qesem Cave, which has changed history books, is the discovery of the oldest evidence of the consumption of cooked meat.

There are numbers of animal burnt bones, flint tools and some heated soil lumps in the cave which are t the early examples of regular using of fire by humans 200,000 ago.

Containing the discoveries of flint knifes and some large artifacts such as hand axes which enabled the early humans to hold onto the tool with one hand and cut, the Qesem Cave also shows the oldest examples of knives in the history of humanity.

Archaeology Professor at Tel Aviv University Ron Barkai is the head of digging at Qesem Cave.

He highlightes the importance of the site saying, "Europe only started seeing humans using knives 30,000 years ago. These knives were created 200,000 years ago. What happened here in Israel 200,000 years ago predates the rest of the world by hundreds of thousands of years. In the millions of years prior, there is no evidence of burnt bones (which suggest cooking). It seems these people ate cooked meat, meaning that Qesem Cave has evidence of the oldest barbeque ever held."

In terms of technology, behavior, hunting techniques, use of fire, and much more, the site has an internationally great significance.

The archeological site is now protected with fences and is only allowed to be visited for archeological researches.

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