Olives have been domesticated since the Neolithi

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists in Israel have discovered one of the earliest examples of the domestication of fruit trees.

They came to the conclusion that the olive was cultivated about seven thousand years ago in the Central Jordan Valley.

In addition, researchers seem to have found evidence of fig domestication from the same time period. According to archaeologists, this indicates a complex and wealthy society of ancient gardeners.

The European olive, also known as the cultivated olive, is an evergreen subtropical tree that is not found today in the wild.

Few people are aware that olive fruits are berries or fruits (after all, vegetables, in fact, are called parts of plants, not fruits, and vegetables grow only on herbaceous plants).

And the domestication of fruit trees is a process that takes many tens and even hundreds of years (because a tree grows much more slowly than grass).

Therefore, societies that are on the verge of survival will not do this. Such fishing is typical only for crops that are in the stage of abundance.

On the other hand, fruit tree estates are a good investment in the future, not only in your own, but also in your descendants.

This already suggests the beginnings of a complex society . So fixing the time of domestication of such trees can tell a lot about the people who did it.

So do archaeologists from the Tel Aviv and Jewish Universities in Jerusalem (Israel). After studying the remains of charcoal (a total of 622 samples) dating from 7.2 to 6.7 thousand years ago from the archaeological site of Tel Tsaf, located in the Central Jordan Valley, scientists came to the conclusion that olive trees were domesticated at that time and even, probably figs

Olives have been domesticated since the Neolithi
Photo of sections of charred wood samples

In the charred remains that archaeologists studied, there was a significant proportion of olive (6.4 percent of the total coal) and fig (6.5 percent) wood. The olive does not grow wild in this area, so scientists believe that it was deliberately bred there.

But the fig grew, but due to the fact that the value of its wood is small, there was hardly any reason for people to collect its branches in large quantities and bring them to the village.

Rather, these branches fell into the ancient fire due to pruning, which is still practiced today to increase the yield of figs. Therefore, researchers believe that the local population in those days was also cultivating this tree.

Since olives and figs are not perishable (and they can also be dried or made into oil), it is possible that the local population could trade them over long distances – this is a sign of an even more complex society.

Large granaries in the yards of houses, pottery with rich and exquisite painting, and numerous remains of bones of domestic animals indicate the prosperity of the local residents.

In addition, objects brought from afar were found there: ceramics from the Northern Levant or Mesopotamia, obsidian from Anatolia, a copper awl from the Caucasus, Nilotic shells from Egypt and other objects.


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