The ashkelon trough settlements in the early bronze age i: New evidence of maritime trade

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Abstract

Archaeobotanical research carried out in several dispersed Early Bronze Age Ia (ca. 3500–3350 B.C.E.) sites excavated along the Ashkelon troughs (Afridar) offers new evidence indicating trade relations between southern Canaan, Lebanon and Egypt much earlier than had been believed previously. Wood from two native Lebanese trees, Cedrus libani (Cedar of Lebanon) and Quercus cerries (Turkey Oak) found in EB Ia strata confirms the northern connections. Analysis of charred wood remains and fruits found at all Ashkelon sites shows that more than 90% of the wood assemblage was Olea europaea (Olive) and all fruit remains were olive stones. The assumption that olive orchards characterized the Ashkelon area as early as the EB Ia period suggests olive oil production and most likely export to Egypt. Thus, the archaeobotanical data support the assumption that maritime trade between the southern Canaan coast with Lebanon and Egypt existed as early as EB Ia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalTel Aviv
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1996

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