Ancient Village Prompts Gas Line Rerouting

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with Israel Natural Gas Lines, announced the discovery of a 2,300-year-old village near the Burma Road.

The discovery resulted in rerouting a lengthy natural gas line running from the coastal plain to the outskirts of Jerusalem.

The pre-construction excavation in June 2013 uncovered a Second Temple Period rural settlement that archaeologists believe thrived for two centuries.

To date, the excavation has unearthed single-family stone houses, each made up of several rooms and an open courtyard.

"The rooms generally served as residential and storage rooms, while domestic tasks were carried out in the courtyards," IAA archaeologist and excavation director Irina Zilberbod said.

The village stood about 280 meters (yards) above sea level, with a panoramic view of the countryside around it, planted with orchards and vineyards, which likely provided a living for the villagers.

Israeli law requires a pre-construction excavation to ensure that priceless antiquities are preserved. In this case, rerouting the pipeline is no small undertaking. Preserving the ancient village takes precedence in Israel.

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