As part of the ongoing efforts to widen road 437, which stretches between the settlement of Adam and Kfar Hizma in the Benjamin Regional Council of the Judean mountains, the archaeology staff unit of the Israeli Civil Administration has made a remarkable discovery. Beneath the layers of time and soil, they have unearthed the remains of ancient quarries and a production center for stone tools that date back to the illustrious Second Temple period.
During the Second Temple period, it was customary to craft tools from stone, and as such, stone implements have been a recurrent find at archaeological sites throughout the region. These artifacts take various forms, from cups and bowls to intricately designed and stylized tools. However, what sets this recent excavation apart is the revelation of not just individual tools but an entire production center, complete with several interconnected quarries.
תגלית היסטורית נדירה במהלך העבודות להרחבת הכביש בין אדם לחיזמה: מרכז לייצור כלי אבן מימי בית שני התגלה על ידי קמ"ט ארכיאולוגיה במנהל האזרחי. לפני כשלושים שנה התגלה מרכז דומה ליד הכפר חיזמא. הדבר מוכיח כי ככל הנראה האזור שימש כמרכז הכריה, הייצור וההפצה של כלי אבן בירושלים וסביבתה. pic.twitter.com/MUyTMblUts— חנן גרינווד (@hanan_green) September 18, 2023
Remarkably, this discovery echoes a similar find made approximately three decades ago, also in close proximity to Kfar Hizma. Both centers tell a compelling story - one of a region that evidently served as a hub for the mining, production, and distribution of stone tools, primarily destined for the sacred city of Jerusalem and its surroundings.
Bnei Har-Evan, the staff officer for archaeology in the Civil Administration, emphasized the importance of preserving such archaeological treasures in Judea and Samaria. He remarked, "It is a great privilege to conduct these excavations and uncover the ancient and culturally rich world that lies beneath the surface. Through these extraordinary discoveries, we gain insight into a life marked by culture and prestige that this area has borne witness to throughout the ages."
The road widening project on route 437 is part of a broader initiative to improve transportation infrastructure across Judea and Samaria. Recently, Transportation Minister Miri Regev personally visited one of the roads undergoing restoration, near Huwara. This project seeks to create safer routes, diverting traffic away from volatile Palestinian urban centers.
Incident near Huwara: Israeli citizens injured by Palestinian terrorism on their way to an Ishay Ribo concert. Heightened security in Judea and Samaria. #Israel #PalestinianTerrorism #SecurityAlerthttps://t.co/K7oXkWk4zY— The Judean (@TheJudean) September 13, 2023
Minister Regev expressed her enthusiasm for the development, stating, "This marks a significant milestone for me personally. I initiated the construction of the Huwara bypass road during my previous term in the Ministry of Transportation. With divine providence, the first section of the road will open in October, and by December, the entire road will be accessible. I have instructed the professionals to expedite their work to ensure an earlier opening date. This road is not just a matter of convenience; it is a life-saving route that enhances security and safety for our citizens, making it a vital asset to the State of Israel."