Israeli archaeologists are scratching their heads over a possible 8,500-year-old murder mystery after discovering two skeletons at the bottom of an ancient well.
Yotam Tepper, who directed the excavation on behalf of the Israeli Antiquity Authority, said the find is very important, as it is one of the oldest wells in the region.
"We find here a well from the neolithic period, it is dated to 8,000 years ago," Tepper said.
But archaeologists cannot explain why the skeletal remains of a woman, believed by archaeologists to have been aged about 20, and those of an older man were also uncovered deep inside the now-dry well.
"We find in the bottom of the well, two skeletons, one of a woman, 20 years old and an older man around 30-40 years old, and we find them dead inside the well. We don't know the reason why, we have to study those questions. Also we found a lot of bones and a lot of other material that we can study later on. It will be very important to understand the agriculture around this settlement," Tepper said.
Flint sickle blades and arrowheads found in the eight-metre (26 foot)-deep Stone Age well in the Jezreel Valley in Israel's Galilee region, suggest it was used by the area's first farmers.
"We find a lot of flint tools, this one (being held by Tepper) is a tool used for the corridor (shaft) of the well, the neolithic period is before the metal," Tepper added.