A team of archaeologists work in northern Egypt have discovered the site of an ancient settlement that makes even the Pharaohs and the Pyramids look young, relatively speaking. The discovery was made in the town of Tel el-Samara, which is located north of Cairo in the fertile Nile Delta region.
Egypt’s most famous pyramids at Giza are thought to be roughly 4,500 years old, while the newly discovered settlement pre-dates those by another 2,500 years. The 7,000 year old cache of animal bones, plant remains, pottery shards, and tools produced evidence, including rare organic matter form the period, that has allowed for approximate dating of the settlement by researchers.
While the existence of the site has been known and worked on since 2015, it was only this recent discovery of these stores that allowed for a much more accurate analysis of the time and context of this settlement to come to light. Scientists have known for decades that human evolution first emerged out of north Africa and early settlements here were among the first to develop into organized societies. But finding actual artifacts from these long-forgotten societies has often proved elusive.
As I always say, all of Egypt remains an active archaeological site. Whether you’re a tourist walking around the Pyramids or a villager digging a hole in your backyard, you never know what new discoveries are lurking just below the surface in Egypt.
To read more on these new discoveries, check out these articles:
The Independent (UK): Ancient village that predates pharaohs discovered in Egypt