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FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of farmland on the Nile River Delta, Egypt, is pictured through a plane window February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Archaeologists in Egypt say they have found one of the oldest-known villages in the Nile Delta dating back to the Neolithic era.

A joint Egyptian and French mission discovered several storage silos containing large quantities of animal and plant remains, as well as pottery and stone tools, the antiquities ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The ministry said the find indicates that humans inhabited the fertile Tell al-Samara, in the northern province of El-Dakahlia, as early as the fifth millennium BC, far predating Egypt's oldest known pyramid.

"Analysing the biological material that has been discovered will present us with a clearer view of the first communities that settled in the Delta and the origins of agriculture and farming in Egypt," said Nadia Khedr, a ministry official responsible for Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities on the Mediterranean.

Rain-based Neolithic farming may hold vital clues to a technological leap that led to irrigation-based farming along the Nile.

(Reporting by Sameh El-Khatib; Writing by Nadine Awadalla. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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Reuters