Because of its water springs, Tell es Sultan or Jericho was a natural oasis in the desert all could enjoy. North of Dead Sea, and west of Jordan river. It is a Palestinian city in the west bank. The site rises above the wide area of the Jordon valley. Its height upon height, a result of layers upon layers of human habitation and destruction. Dated to about 12,000 years ago. Its site provides great archaeological importance; it shows evidence of the first development of permanent settlements, and thereso, the first steps towards great civilizations.
Around the Ein as Sultan spring, scientists have found remains of circular homes made with mud brick and topped with dome roofs. At this era they probably hadn’t discovered blast pottery, or cermaics yet. They did build, grow plants, and keep animals They collected firewood, artifacts, and made stone tools. As many as 14,000 years ago.
Like many neolithic settlements they begin trading. With it came mining, and constructing stone walls with ditches around them, and to protect the community. This settlement. Complete with its stone tower, was one of the first. At over 25 feet tall.
Many years of destruction and rebuilding
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho. Including what may have been the first protective wall. Some of the first dates go back 11,000 years. And, to basically the beginning of the holocene cycle, and neolithic era. The Ein es-Sultan (or Jericho spring), would have made Jericho a popular spot for camping, the Natufians (link), and hunter gatherer groups. Because they left behind a significant amount of crescent shaped microlith tools behind. After the droughts and cold cycle of the Younger Dryas. It could have been possible for them to extend the duration of there stay. To what was eventually, a year round settlement and perminant habitation around 11 or 12,000 years ago.
11500 to 8500 years ago, Pre-pottery neolithic
11,500 to 11000 years ago is an estimate when humans built homes at Jericho. Dwelling foundations unearthed at Tell es-Sultan (Jericho). Show circular dwellings were built of clay and straw bricks. Left to dry in the sun, and were plastered together with a mud mortar. Each house measured about 5 metres (16 ft) across, and was roofed with mud-smeared brush. Hearths were located within and/or outside the homes. For wood fired pottery, food, mud plaster manufacturing, breaking rocks or whatever else they needed at the time.
Around 9000 years ago the site became surrounded by a massive stone wall around 12 feet (or, 1.8 meters) high. At the base stood a 28 foot or 8.5 meters high stone tower. Similar to Tell Qaramel in Syria. They are both, one of the oldest towers ever discovered by humans.
Later in Pre-pottery neolithic b. Humans begin expanding the range of domesticated plants, and domesticating sheep. There is debate about cultic practices during this period. Involving plasterization and art decoration of human skulls. Artistically decorated plastered skulls have been found in Tell Ramad, Beisamoun, Kfar Hahoresh, Ain Ghazal and Nahal Hemar.
Based on scientific evidence and study, perhaps 8800 years ago, Tell es Sultan (or Jericho), and an additional surrounding village could have had signs and the results of an invasion. But, they strove on. Architecture styles continued. Men and women, continued constructed rectilinear buildings made of mud bricks on stone foundations. The mudbricks were roughly small bread loaf-shaped, with deep thumb prints to facilitate bonding. No building has been excavated in its entirety though. Layer upon layer, it has been identified that, a courtyard was surrounded by several rooms. Some of the rooms had lime terrazzo floors. And, the courtyards were clay.
As the neolithic age expanded many came thru to Jericho or Tell es Sultan. It probably reached a peak late neolithic or during the bronze age.
Of what was left, early archaeological finds included obsidian, flint tools such as arrowheads, scrapers, axes, sickles, and knives. Dishes and bowls carved from limestone There was some green obsidian from an unidentified source. Loom weights, drills, and spindle whorls where there. Also, the life sized plasterized figures.
By the bronze Age, Jericho may have been a small prominent city. Perhaps around 3700 to 3600 years ago. It had been connected to the rise of ‘the Maryannu people’ in Anatolia and Turkey. They were the class of chariot-using aristocrats. Some archaeologists have claimed ‘the Bronze Age was the most prosperous’ in the history of Jericho. Which could have made makes sense since tin and copper had begun being mined nearby. However they did not have an abundant supply of wood, and new resources like gold and silver from places in Europe, Asia and the Americas that were being continually explored and expanding. And, when Jericho fell around 3500 years ago (or 1500 BC). There is little evidence of any settlements, until something small, a few hundred years after. There after the metal ages, it was continually destroyed and rebuilt, and abandon into and during the iron age. Little remains from the persian and early hellenistic periods. When a bunch of different kings, queens, empires and rulers came and fought for control of the area. Its considerably less interesting, then its first establishment and growth during the great neolithic era.
“Jericho” (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9043547/Jericho), Encyclopædia Britannica
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