A newly discovered shrine in the eastern desert of Jordan was built in the Stone Age. Many artifacts and fossils were found in it.

Archaeologists have discovered a 9,000-year-old shrine in Jordan’s eastern desert, the Associated Press reports. It was probably used for religious hunting rituals.

In 2021, a team of Jordanian and French archaeologists excavated a site in the Khashabia Mountains, located in the eastern part of the Al Jafr Basin, Jordan. Scientists have found many artefacts there, including animal figurines, elaborate flint tools, an altar and hearth, and two large stones carved with human faces.

The team also discovered a trap used by ancient people to capture wild gazelles and deer. The hunters drove the animals there and then slaughtered them. The traps date back to 7000 BC, as does the location of the special ritual. According to scientists, they occupied an important place in the cultural, economic and symbolic life of the society of hunter-gatherers of the new Stone Age or Neolithic.

“This is a unique site, primarily because of its preservation,” said Wael Abu-Azzizah, project co-lead and archaeologist at the French Institute of the Near East, in an interview with the Associated Press. “It is 9,000 years old and almost everything is intact.”