One of the projects we at Curt Landry Ministries are proud to support is My Olive Tree, an organization working to reclaim the desert by planting groves of olive trees. These groves provide locals with sustainable means of employment, while also helping the region return to its roots as a major producer of olives and olive oil.
Speaking of those roots, a recent discovery shed some light on the kind of sophistication that existed in early irrigation of olive trees, providing yet another link between My Olive Tree’s work and the ancient citizens of Israel.
Recent excavations in northern Israel’s Tel Beit She’an Valley uncovered hundreds of olive pits, which prompted archaeologists from the University of Haifa to consider the types of irrigation techniques that had been used in the area up to 7,000 years ago, the date to which these pits were placed.
According to these researchers, the pits were likely the work of artificial irrigation. This could imply the people of the time were actually more agriculturally sophisticated than previously expected.
Even though the region has long been referred to as the “Cradle of Civilization,” there is still relatively little known about the area. Archaeologists in this study grouped together from a number of disciplines to find evidence of agricultural practices, social organization, diet and economy of the time. There is much known about the way olives were used and exploited at the time, but the discovery of mass quantities of seeds found raises new questions about irrigation methods, as well as trade relations for olives and olive oil.
Researchers are expected to conduct more thorough investigations into these agricultural practices in the future. They have recently been able to piece together a good idea of the kind of diet people in the region ate based on studies of botanical and animal bone evidence collected in the area.
It is yet another reminder of the importance of My Olive Tree’s work to restore the Holy Land and reclaim the desert, and the importance of our support of that work. For more information about supporting My Olive Tree and the various other initiatives sponsored by Curt Landry Ministries, contact us today.