The well, dated to about 7800 YBP, is located at a depth of 5–7 m below present sea level, 200 m offshore. It was constructed of tree branches and pebbles, and is considered to be one of the oldest wooden structures in the world. After removing some 50 cubic m of sand that covered the well (Fig. 2), its top was exposed and documented: it was drawn and photographed (Figs. 3, 4), including the use of photogrammetry techniques to create a three-dimensional image. A test excavation was carried out inside the well, and core samples were taken from the clayish sediment within the well and its nearby surroundings (Fig. 4). Sieving of the well fill revealed the waterlogged wooden branches that were used in its construction; herbaceous remains, which are yet to be identified; and a single olive pit. Samples of the wooden branches were sent for tree species analysis and 14C dating.
The prehistoric villages discovered off the Carmel coast shed light on the changing diet, economy, material culture and lifestyle of coastal Neolithic residents, who lived through the transition to a food-production economy. Furthermore, these villages demonstrate how ancient populations coped with environmental changes such as sea-level rise and the associated changes in coastlines, flooding of the coastal plain habitation grounds and salinization of water sources. The finds provide new evidence of ancient sea-level changes along the Carmel coast (Fig. 5). They also provide evidence of the development of water wells and additional water-management technologies. Lastly, our knowledge on the environmental challenges experienced by the Neolithic populations sheds light on those facing modern-day coastal societies. A sea-level rise similar to the one that took place during the Neolithic period may occur in the future due to man-induced and natural global warming, requiring costly human adaptation, coastal protection, abandonment of settlements and the transfer of populations and valuable assets inland, as practiced by the Neolithic populations of the Carmel coast.