7,000-year breakwater in the Mediterranean Sea

The 100 meter long and nearly 3m high wall once protected the Neolithic people when the sea level rose at the end of the Ice Age.

Picture 1 of 7,000-year breakwater in the Mediterranean Sea
Traces of crumbling walls of ancient waves.(Photo: Newsweek).

The team, led by Dr. Ehud Galili at Haifa University, discovered an ancient wave wall built by the Neolithic people to protect the village against rising sea levels more than 7,000 years ago. The 100-meter-long wall off the coast of Carmel was built with pebbles taken from a river bed more than 1.6 km away, forming a barrier between the Mediterranean Sea and Tel Hreiz village.

In a study published in PLOS One, Galili's team said it was the oldest coastal protection system in the world and the technical achievements reflected the villagers' level of awareness, organization and construction. Neolithic period. At the time of Tel Hreiz's existence, sea levels rose due to rising global temperatures at the end of the last Ice Age. Mediterranean sea water rises by 7 mm each year.

"The rise of the sea level leads to more frequent storms, ravaging the village. Over time, the villagers pay attention to the changes in the environment. The annual sea level rise promotes a response." from humans, including the construction of coastal protection walls similar to today's breakwaters, " Galili explained.

Tel Hreiz was first discovered in the 1960s, but researchers only knew about the seawall when the project was discovered in 2010 after a strong storm. Galili and colleagues analyzed the ruins of the underwater wall. They calculate the building is nearly 3m high and was born around the same time as the village. After decades, the seawall was eroded by seawater. When the sand at the foot of the wall was washed away, waves and storms may have crushed the boulders.

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