The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Archaeology   Chronicles of the LandThe Dawn of Civilization  
The Dawn of Civilization
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Stone Age / Paleolithic Period

1.5 million – 11,500 years ago

Neolithic Period

11,500–6,500 years ago

Chalcolithic Period

6,500–5,500 years ago

This gallery raises the curtain on the story of the people and cultures of the Land. It takes the visitor on a journey over hundreds of thousands of years, through milestones of humanity: the exodus from Africa, the emergence of modern humans, the transition from hunter-gatherer groups to sedentary communities, and the establishment, in the wake
of the agricultural revolution ,” of the first villages and chiefdoms .

Among the rare finds exhibited here are early tools, evidence of the first organized hunts, the oldest artwork in the world, the earliest cultic objects, ancient textiles and clay vessels, and a remarkable treasure of copper artifacts from the time of the beginning of metalworking .

Together, these items help us reconstruct the first , unwritten chapters of human history and understand the roots of civilization. They shed light on the saga of the prehistoric peoples of this region and on the development of society , economy, daily life, and spiritual life over the first million years .

Prehistoric finds from the Land of Israel are thus silent messages from the world s distant past: a universal heritage from our common ancestors and a legacy for the days to come .

Collection online
See the department curators on the senior staff list.