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Olive oil storage during the fifth and sixth millennia BC at Ein Zippori, Northern Israel

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences
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  • 1 Institute of Earth Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • | 2 Institute of Earth Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • | 3 Department of Excavations, Surveys and Research, Israel Antiquities Authority
  • | 4 Department of Excavations, Surveys and Research, Israel Antiquities Authority
  • | 5 Institute of Earth Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • | 6 Department of Excavations, Surveys and Research, Israel Antiquities Authority
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Several occupation levels dating to the sixth to fifth millennia BC (the Wadi Rabah and pre-Ghassulian Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures as well as the Early Bronze Age IB–II) were found in a salvage excavation conducted at Ein Zippori in the lower Galilee. Pottery vessels from the different periods were sampled for organic residue analysis study and were analyzed using gas chromatography (GC) coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Olive oil was one of the most common organic residues detected in the vessels, from the levels of the Wadi Rabah occupation and onwards (sixth to fifth millennia BC). This find throws new light on the exploitation of olives in the southern Levant as well as on the large-scale production and consumption of olive oil in the Late Pottery Neolithic and pre-Ghassulian Chalcolithic times.

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