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Meter of Manure Confirms 1,500-Year-Old Stable

Inside the stable (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority/Courtesy)

Archaeologists dug through a meter-thick layer of organic material (i.e. a thick layer of donkey, sheep, and goat manure) to find a stable over 1,500 years old. Researchers think the area was destroyed by an earthquake, but uncovered the containers used to feed the stable animals.

A 1,500-year-old stable believed to have been demolished in an earthquake was unearthed by an archaeological team in the Negev desert and identified by a meter-thick layer of animal manure at the site, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Thursday.

According to a statement from the IAA, the Byzantine-era stable in the Avdat national park was discovered within a cave, which was split into several rooms. Paintings of crosses were found on the walls of the cave, apparently used by monks.

The team also found stone basins thought to be used to feed the animals in the stable. The researchers were able to confirm the site was a stable due to the large quantities of donkey, sheep, and goat manure in the area.

Tags: Life in Israel

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