Opium trade and use during the Late Bronze Age: Organic residue analysis of ceramic vessels from the burials of Tel Yehud, Israel

Vanessa Linares, Eriola Jakoel, Ron Be’eri, Oded Lipschits, Ronny Neumann, Yuval Gadot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Organic residue analysis was conducted on various vessels from burials at Tel Yehud, Israel. The analyses led to new reliable evidence for the presence of opioid alkaloids and their decomposition products. This research revitalizes a decades-old discussion on the presence and function of the opium trade across a cultural region of utmost significance in the Ancient Near East and the use and role of Base-Ring juglets during the Late Bronze Age IIA (14th century bce). Furthermore, it was found that opium storage was not limited to Base-Ring juglets. Opium was possibly diluted into storage jars and juglets, signifying the importance of opium utilization at a larger scale during this period.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchaeometry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Base-Ring juglets
  • Cypriot ware
  • Israel
  • Late Bronze Age IIA
  • Tel Yehud
  • gas chromatography–mass spectrometry
  • opioid alkaloids
  • opium
  • organic residue analysis

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