Image: Stone artifacts
Ariel Schalit  /  AP
Yoav Arbel of Israel's Antiquities Authority holds pieces of stone artifacts at the excavation site of the Neolithic period in Tel Aviv, Israel.
updated 1/11/2010 12:53:05 PM ET 2010-01-11T17:53:05

Israel's Antiquities Authority say the remains of a prehistoric building and ancient flint tools have been discovered in the modern city of Tel Aviv.

Archaeologist Ayelet Dayan says the find is "important and surprising" because it's the first evidence of life from that time in the area.

The three-room structure is believed to be about 8,000 years old and was built in the Neolithic period — when humans went from nomadic existence to permanent settlements. It is the earliest building ever found in Tel Aviv. The flint tools and hippopotamus bones found nearby date back 100,000 years.

Tel Aviv, Israel's financial and cultural center on the Mediterranean, was built on sand dunes 100 years ago. The ancient remains were uncovered during construction in the affluent Ramat Aviv neighborhood.

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