Atlit Yam: Fascinating Archeological Findings in Haifa

September 25th 2017

Atlit is a small coastal town that sits just south of Haifa. You might never have heard of it, and you wouldn’t be alone. In fact, nobody would know about Atlit except for a teeny tiny discovery that exposed this quiet town to massive media attention and a massive influx of visitors. Wondering what it was? Check out the secret that lies just below the bustling town of Haifa, and be transported back to a time before time even existed.

Neolithic Village

Sebastian wasn’t kidding when he said: “down where it’s hotter, under the water.” At least, not when speaking of the Haifa coast. That’s because hidden deep within the murky depths of the Mediterranean Sea is a thrilling adventure anyone would tremble to behold. Archeologists discovered an ancient neolithic village. Resting quietly, submerged at around 25-40 ft. below the sea, the Atlit Yam remains were carbon dated at several thousands of years old and span a massive 10 acres of land.

Fascinating Discoveries

Historians and archeologists worked together to bring this riveting story to the surface. Among the coral and sea life, they found full structures of homes, fishing facilities, and a well. The way the remains were left implies a sudden vacating of the area, perhaps because the sea level rose to dangerous heights and villagers needed to flee for their lives to higher grounds.

Additionally, excavators found skeletons and weaponry such as arrowheads and axes. A strange discovery was a group of large stones arranged in a circle. The stones had impressions dug out of them for cups to be placed. Situated directly next to an old stream, it is assumed that this was an area used for some sort of ritual in ancient times.

Detainee Refugee Camp

While you’re in the area, you can also visit the Detainee Camp, a museum in the area that was originally a camp for Jewish refugees during the British mandate. The site became a national monument in 1987, and presently the museum is used to teach people about the history of immigration to Israel from 1934-1948. Take a tour of the camp and watch a multimedia presentation explaining this complex period of history. End with a memorial exhibit for the brave souls who died during this journey.