Olive trees were domesticated in the Jordan Valley 7,000 years ago

(ORDO NEWS) — The Jordan Valley is a valley in the Middle East. It stretched from Lake Tiberias to the Dead Sea and further to the Gulf of Aqaba. The Jordan River flows through the valley and flows into the Dead Sea. The river is part of the state border between Israel and Jordan.

Domestication may indicate the first steps in the development of a socio-economic hierarchy supported by an administrative system.

Olive trees have deep historical significance in this part of the world, and a recent Israeli study found the earliest evidence for the domestication of these trees 7,000 years ago.

Analyzing the remains of charcoal from the Eneolithic site of Tel Tzaf in the Jordan Valley, researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem determined that they come from olive trees.

Because olive trees don’t grow naturally in the Jordan Valley, this means the locals must have planted trees on purpose about 7,000 years ago, the researchers say.

Wood was the ‘plastic’ of the ancient world,” explained lead researcher Dr. Daphne Langgut of the Jacob M. Alkov Department of Archeology and Ancient Cultures of the Near East and Tel Aviv University’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.

It was used for construction, tool making and furniture, as well as a source of energy, which is why identifying the remains of trees found in archaeological sites, such as coal from hearths, is the key to understanding what types of trees grew in the natural environment at that time, and when people began to grow fruit trees .

It was used for construction, making tools and furniture, and as a source of energy.” That is why identifying the remains of trees found in archaeological sites, such as charcoal from hearths, is the key to understanding what types of trees were growing in the natural environment at that time. time and when people began to grow fruit trees.”

Even when trees are burned to charcoal, they can be identified by their anatomical structure, she added. As head of the laboratory of archaeobotany and ancient environments, she specializes in such microscopic identification of plant remains.

In their work, the scientists noted that archaeological and botanical evidence suggests that olive cultivation began in northern Israel along the Carmel coast and in the Galilee at the end of the eighth millennium, during the early Chalcolithic period, probably based on wild types of olives found in nature.

Several centuries later, according to their findings, at the beginning of the Middle Chalcolithic, around 7000 BC, the settlers of Tel Tzaf took up full-fledged cultivation of olives, according to the researchers’ report.

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