Scientists discover fossilized shark teeth in an unexpected area

Scientists have discovered a cache of fossilized shark teeth in an area where they shouldn't be. The fossils were discovered in a 2900-year-old site within the City of David in Jerusalem. Researchers say the shark teeth were discovered at least 80 kilometers from where they would be expected to be discovered. They have no conclusive proof for why the cache was assembled, but they believe the fossilized shark teeth could be part of a collection assembled by someone in ancient times.

While the teeth were discovered in an area of the City of David that was 2900 years old, the fossilized teeth themselves are about 80 million years old. The team has also discovered similar unexplained fines and other parts of ancient Judea. Researchers on the project say the fossils are not in their original setting and have been moved.

They believe the teeth were valuable to someone, but they don't know why or why similar items have been found spread around more than one place in Israel. Scientists discovered the fossilized teeth buried in material used to fill in a basement before conversion to a larger Iron-Age house. The home was in one of the oldest parts of Jerusalem in the City of David.

The City of David is found in modern times in the largely Palestinian village of Silwan. The shark teeth were discovered with fish bones thrown away as food waste 2900 years ago and other materials discovered in the area, including pottery. Another interesting find in the same area was hundreds of bullae, which are items used to seal confidential letters and packages, which implies a connection with a governing class at some point.

Researchers say they first believed the shark teeth were the remains of food dumped nearly 3000 years ago. However, when they submitted the paper for publication, a reviewer noted that one of the teeth could only have come from a Late Cretaceous shark extinct for at least 66 million years. Further analysis showed all the teeth were around 80 million years old, with all 29 found at the location from the Late Cretaceous. The team's working hypothesis is that collectors gathered the teeth, but they are unable to confirm that hypothesis.