Olive trees began to be cultivated in the Jordan Valley 7,000 years ago

Olive trees began to be cultivated in the Jordan Valley 7,000 years ago

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 Olive trees began to be cultivated in the Jordan Valley 7,000 years ago

Olive trees have deep historical significance in this part of the world, and recent Israeli excavations have unearthed evidence of tree domestication dating back over 7,000 years.

Analyzing the remains of charcoal from the Eneolithic settlement of Tel Tzaf in the Jordan Valley, researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem determined that they were formed from the burning of olive and fig trees. According to the researchers, since olive trees did not grow in the Jordan Valley naturally, this means that the inhabitants of this place deliberately planted trees about 7,000 years ago.

The Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Ancient Environment identified the charcoal from Tel Tzaf as belonging to olive and fig trees. This is the earliest remains of charred olive wood in the Jordan Valley.

Tel Tzaf was a large prehistoric village in the middle Jordan Valley south of Beit Shean, inhabited between 7,200 and 6,700 years ago. supplies than one family needs, which indicates the wealth of the village. The researchers also found objects brought from afar: ceramics of the Ubaid culture from Mesopotamia, obsidian from Anatolia, a copper awl from the Caucasus and much more.

In addition to the remains analysis of an olive tree revealed the remains of young branches of a fig tree that grows naturally in the Jordan Valley. Most likely, the fig tree branches, which are of no value as firewood or building material, appeared as a result of garden pruning.

Olive and fig groves, which require long-term investment before the first harvest, are an indisputable indicator of the wealth of the settlement, since growing fruit is a sign of luxury.

Fruit groves are of great economic and social importance in terms of owning land and passing it on to future generations. This suggests the emergence of a complex society with a socio-economic hierarchy supported by an administrative system.

Traces of the earliest seals have also been found, possibly indicating a system of taxation and administrative procedures.

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