web analytics
April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Oldest-Ever Graves Decorated with Flowers Found in Israel

Using flowers on graves is not such a new idea. It may even date back 12,000 years to a society that lived in Haifa Mount Carmel areas, where Elijah the Prophet lived in Biblical times.
A 12,000-year-old double grave with a bed of flowers underneath an adolescent on the right and an adult on the left

A 12,000-year-old double grave with a bed of flowers underneath an adolescent on the right and an adult on the left
Photo Credit: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Israeli archaeologists have unearthed 12,000-old Natufian society graves that are the oldest-ever proof that flowers were used for decorating graves.

The Natufian society is considered to be one of the first, if not the first, to reside in permanent villages instead of being nomadic, according to University of Haifa archaeologist Daniel Nadel. Carbon dating revealed that the graves were between 11,700 and 13,700 years old.

The graves were discovered in the nearby Mount Carmel area overlooking Haifa, with imprints of flowering plants, such as mint and sage, stamped into the dirt of the ancient graves.

“From [the Neanderthal] example until the Natufians,” a period spanning some 50,000 years, “there is not one example” of flowers decorating graves, Nadel and his team wrote in study published Monday in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

People may have been using flowers during the entire period, but “finding such flowers is very difficult” since they decay, Nadel added.

He based the importance of the use of flowers on evidence that indicates that the place of burial was dug out and that a thin veneer of mud, a form of primitive plaster, was used to cover the sides. Plants lined the bottom of the grave before bodies were buried, and scented flowers were likely chosen as much for their aromas as their appearance.

“There are hundreds of flowers on Mount Carmel during the spring, but only a small group provide very strong fragrances. It’s impossible that the Natufians didn’t recognize the smell,” Nadel explained.

Twenty-nine skeletons, all within a 160 square-foot area, were found several years ago, but meticulous research recently led Nadel to reach his conclusions. The impression from plant stems and flowers indicated that they may have been from sage and mint and other aromatic plants.

The researched were able to identify them under a scanning electron microscope.

Nadel estimated that the burial were very ceremonial because animal bones also were found in the cave cemetery.

“They didn’t just place the bodies inside the graves and leave,” he said. “We have to envision a colorful ceremony that maybe included dancing, singing, and eating. They may have hunted a few animals and had a big meal around the graves and then threw bones or meat inside.”

Like today, the grave flowers were intended both for those who died and for the survivors.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Oldest-Ever Graves Decorated with Flowers Found in Israel”

  1. "E AS PEDRAS CLAMARAM".

  2. As far as I know this was not the first time.

  3. ¡¡¡¡¡Muy interesante!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
USAID recipient Tarek Abbas, son of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud.
Abbas’ Son Loses $10 Million Libel Suit in US Court
Latest News Stories
Representatives from IsraeLife, United Hatzalah, Zaka and First strategize on how to provide the best relief in Nepal.

United Hatzalah, Zaka and First are among the first emergency responders from Israel to arrive in Nepal on Sunday as part of an international effort.

USAID recipient Tarek Abbas, son of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud.

The PA and leftists lost twice in US courts, which threw out suits for libel and a claim against settlers’ “terrorist attacks.”

Franz Höessler, deputy camp commander at Bergen-Belsen. Höessler was hanged for his crimes in Dec. 1945.

Lauder: ‘Jews demanded no ‘Right of Return’ to Germany or Austria or Poland or any other European country.’

Several Israelis suffered light injuries but 150 still have made no contact with officials.

The emails are unclassified but include sensitive information of correspondence with ambassadors.

An Arkia plane made an emergency landing at Ben Gurion Airport Sunday morning after a bird was caught in one of the planes’ engines during a flight to Eilat. The plane landed safely. It was the second emergency landing in a week at the airport. An El Al plane that took off for Prague last […]

Arabs call for state of mourning, meaning a state of riots, after knife-wielding terrorist killed when he stabbed solider.

Several Israelis suffered minor injuries in Saturday’s devastating earthquake in Nepal that killed approximately 1,500 people, but approximately 250 Israelis are not accounted for, according to the Foreign Ministry. Communications systems have been disabled by the earthquake, which measured 7.9 on the Richter scale and is the latest in a series of disasters that have […]

Bayit Yehudi settles for three Cabinet posts. Shas to head Religious Affairs with Bayit Yehudi as Deputy.

The road from Jerusalem to Ma’aleh Adumim is closed to traffic due to Arab stone-throwing.

The officer of a Hareidi IDF unit was in Mea Shearim to visit two of his soldiers whose families have social or financial problems.

A soldier was stabbed, and a second soldier was nearly stabbed in separate attacks on Shabbat.

Three police have been injured in Jerusalem after a car ran into them. The three were walking on the sidewalk when the car slammed into them. The vehicular attack happened on the “Cohen’s Path” near Beit Orot on the Mount of Olives. One is moderately injured with pelvic injuries, and the other two are lightly […]

The airstrip, 10 miles from the Syrian border, could be used for UAV missions against Syrian rebels. Israel also is in range.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Student at Har Etzion Yeshiva reads announcement of the death of Rabbi Lichtenstein.

“He did not know what anger was and never engaged in slander.”

Sturmführer Horst Wessel leading his unit, SA-Sturm 5 of Berlin-Friedrichshain, Nuremberg 1929.

The teacher could face three years in jail for displaying Nazi symbols, which includes singing Nazi songs.

Ratification does not imply admission of the possession of nuclear weapons.

Muslim terrorists from Somalia want to make Kenya the next victim on its way to take over northern Africa.

Niv Asraf wasn’t kidnapped near Hebron after all. Apparently he and his friend planned this…

The discovery would be a death blow the PA claims that Tel Aviv is “Palestinian” if it weren’t for the fact that that Arafat was born in Egypt.

Three Israeli Caving Club hikers found the cache in a stalactite cave in northern Israel.

Israel’s PM Netanyahu was interrupted 40 times with standing ovations in his 40 minute historic speech to the US Congress on Tuesday. Transcript here.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/oldest-ever-graves-decorated-with-flowers-found-in-israel/2013/07/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: