The Middle East has dominated the media around the globe and every day the news papers with news soaked in blood of innocents are delivered at our doorsteps. It is a sickening situation, enough to shake the conscience of anybody. So it was a pleasant surprise to see some good news in a small corner of a news paper, something which does not talk about war and suffering.
Excavations have unearthed a copper awl in a grave which held a corpse of a woman. It has been dubbed as the oldest metal artifact ever discovered in the Middle East. The awl is 1.6 inches in length, and the tip is just 0.3 inches from side to side.
The excavated metal tool hints that the residents of Middle East were adept in trading crafted metal goods even 6000 years ago which is centuries before the practice began. The 6000 year old copper awl which was discovered inside the grave reveals secrets of an ancient society.
The copper awl was discovered in Tel Tsaf, a village which existed between BC 5100 and 4600 and is situated on the banks of Jordan River. The remains of the ancient community were first discovered in 1950. Excavations were started in 1980’s.
Archaeologists hint that the village had wheat silos which stored 15 to 30 tons of grains. The village also had public courtyards which also had fireplaces. The fireplaces were surrounded with animal remains hinting that the people organized and took part in big feasts in plazas. The homes were constructed with mud bricks and tools made of volcanic glass known as obsidian has also been found in the excavations. Archaeologists opine that the place could have been visited by tourists and the population was wealthy and well off.
The copper Awl was recovered from a grave which housed the body of a woman who was about 40 years when she died. The woman was wearing a belt which featured 1668 shell beads made from Ostrich shells.
Danny Rosenberg of the University of Haifa in Israel, said “The appearance of the item in a woman’s grave, which represents one of the most elaborate burials we’ve seen in our region from that era, testifies to both the importance of the awl and the importance of the woman, and it’s possible that we are seeing here the first indications of social hierarchy and complexity,”.