The Carmel Caves in northern Israel were recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a heritage site in a special ceremony on the Carmel Wednesday.
The caves were recognized for the exceptional per-historic archaeological findings found in the caves which represent at least 500,000 years of human evolution.
The Carmel Caves join the White City of Tel-Aviv, the Biblical Tels [archaeological sites]of Megiddo, Hazor, Beer Sheba, the Incense Route and Desert Cities in the Negev, the Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee, Masada and the Old City of Acre as the seventh site to be recognized as a UNESCO Heritage site in Israel.
The four caves are situated on the western slopes of the Mount Carmel range. Ninety years of archaeological research have revealed a cultural sequence of unparalleled duration, providing an archive of early human life in southwest Asia. Evidence from numerous Natufian burials and early stone architecture represents the transition from a hunter-gathering lifestyle to agriculture and animal husbandry. The caves have become a key site of the chrono-stratigraphic framework for human evolution in general, and the prehistory of the Levant in particular.