Archaeologists have discovered a prehistoric site dating from 500,000 years ago at Juljulia near Tel Aviv.
Described as a “paradise” for hunter-gatherers, the discovery has revealed hundreds of flint axes and artefacts used by ancestors of modern humans – homo erectus.
Maayan Shemer of the Israeli Antiques Authority said: “The discovery is incredible because of the state of preservation of the pieces and for their implications in our understanding of this ancient material culture”.
Studies of the area have shown that in prehistoric times, a stream flowed near the site, the area was rich in vegetation and there was an abundance of animal species for early humans to hunt and gather.
Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv university said: “The water brought flint nodules from the hills, which were used to make tools on the spot, that attracted animals, which were hunted and butchered here.”
The site was discovered on land earmarked for development and was a joint research project by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of Tel Aviv.
An IAA spokesman said: “There is no doubt that researching these finds in-depth will contribute greatly to the understanding of the lifestyle and human behaviour during this period.”