News of the WeekArchaeology

Dredging at Israeli Site Prompts Mudslinging

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Science  14 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5451, pp. 205-206
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5451.205a

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A prehistoric site critical for understanding early human evolution appears to have suffered permanent damage after a local Israeli drainage authority allegedly bulldozed a big chunk of it last month. Prehistorians claim that the earthmoving, undertaken to prevent flooding of nearby farms during rainstorms, has destroyed their ability to make sense of the complex layers at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, on the banks of the river Jordan in northern Israel. But according to the drainage official who oversaw the project, scientists are exaggerating the harm done to the site.