It is the oldest evidence we have. They are olives that were made six thousand years ago, much earlier than thought. They were found in the submerged Chalcolithic site of Hishulei Carmel (Israel). The discovery is described in scientific reports from researchers at the University of Haifa.
This discovery is about 4,000 years before the earliest evidence of olive production for consumption. Ehud Galili of the Zinman Institute of Archeology said this in a statement. Led the investigation.
Olives are a key component of the Mediterranean culinary culture and economy. Olive oil was widely used for consumption. It was used for lighting, worship, hygiene, and for cosmetic purposes in ancient times. However, the date on which olives were eaten remains a mystery.
“All evidence so far has centered on the middle of the first millennium BC. C. “, says Dr. Liora Kolska Horwitz from the Hebrew University.
The current study was carried out in Hishulei Carmel. The site dates from the Middle Chalcolithic period around 6,600 years ago. The remains are from the coast, 120 meters from the sea. During the excavations, round utensils made from collected stones were found. They were used as wells or storage pits. During the underwater investigation, the researchers found two oval stone structures. They contain thousands of excellently preserved, saturated olive pits.
“They were different from what olive oil was made from. Most of the wells are crushed in the rubble of the oil production. Not here, ”explains Dr. Dafna Langgut from Tel Aviv University.
The olives produced six thousand years ago were apparently treated with sea water. Sea salt could be part of the pickling process.