Atlit Yam is an ancient submerged ruin Neolithic village, off the coast of Atlit, Israel.
The site covers an area of 40,000m².
The site was abandoned by 6300BCE
Atlit-Yam provides the earliest known evidence for an agro-pastoral-marine subsistence system on the Levantine coast.
The final Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Site of Atlit Yam dates between 6900 and 6300BC.
Today, it lies between 8–12m (26–39 ft) beneath sea level in the Bay of Atlit, at the mouth of the Oren River on the Carmel coast. It covers an area of ca. 40,000 square meters.
Underwater excavations have uncovered rectangular houses and a well. The site was covered by the Eustatic rise of sea-levels after the end of the Ice age. It is assumed that the contemporary coast-line was about 1km west of the present coast. Scientists conclude that the village was abandoned suddenly.
An Italian study led by Maria Pareschi of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Pisa indicates that a volcanic collapse of the Eastern flank of Mount Etna 8,500 years ago would likely have caused a 10-storey (40 m or 131 ft) tsunami which within hours destructed the area.
Human skeleton was discovered at Atlit Yam
Submerged settlements and shipwrecks have been found on the Carmel coast since 1960
A stone semicircle, containing seven 600kg (1,320 lb) megaliths, has been found. The stones have cup-marks carved into them and are arranged around a freshwater spring, which suggests that they may have been used for a water ritual.
A well was also found at Atlit Yam
In 1984, Ehud Galili, a marine archaeologist found remains of the site.
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The skeletons of a woman and child, found in 2008, have revealed the earliest known cases of tuberculosis.
An excavation was carried out by the University of Haifa on Oct 1, 1987 in which a complete human burial was discovered under 10m of water on Oct. 4th 1987.
About 8,300 years ago, there was a mighty volcanic explosion at Mt. Etna in Sicily that caused great movement in rocks and trembling under sea. The Italian geologists examined the area of the volcano, which is still active today and came to the conclusion that this event gave rise to a giant tsunami that crossed the Mediterranean, reached its eastern shore and, among other things, caused the destruction of Atlit-Yam and the death of its residents.
Galili, who carried out the dig at the site, says that the conclusions reached by the Italian scholars were too hasty and further he said that it is impossible to state that no tsunami occurred in the Mediterranean, more he said that rise in Mediterranean led to the deserting of the village
“The flooding occurred as the result of the melting of the glaciers, as is happening today,” Galili said.
The Israeli researchers believe that most of the people buried at the site died of illness, and not as the result of a one-time catastrophic event.