A few caves in Mount Carmel tell the story of human evolution. This is where men lived half a million years ago. This site in Israel was added yesterday to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list.
The caves are “located in one of the best preserved fossilized reefs of the Mediterranean region” and contain cultural deposits filled with 500,000 years of human evolution, from the Lower Paleolithic era to the present day, said a summary document that the World Heritage Committee printed in May.
This is what the caves look like from the outside, a series of small openings in the mountain..
Picture of the caves 35 years ago from
Click here for more pictures of the caves
The caves show evidence of rituals conduct by early human life in the region. According to the document: The Nahal Me’arot caves provide “a definitive chronological framework at a key period of human development".
There is little coverage in the world to this addition, since at the same day, UNESCO approved a Palestinian bid to place the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its list of sites of World Heritage in Danger — a move seen by some nations as dangerously mixing politics and culture.
But considering the UN often mixes politics and pleasure, the fact that the caves were added to the list in the first place is a political win for Israel.
Other Israeli sites that have gained World Heritage recognition by UNESCO include the Old City of Jerusalem, Masada National Park, Tel Aviv’s ‘White City,’ the Old City in Acre and the Biblical Tels of Megiddo and Beersheba.