Olive Trees in Israel

Hill with terracing and olive trees, Israel, 2012. Photograph by Todd Bolen.

The olive is referred to many times in the Bible and has been an important crop for food, illumination, and medicine for five thousand to six thousand years, going back to the Early Bronze Age (3150–1200 B.C.E.). The earliest evidence for the domestication of olives comes from the Chalcolithic (late fourth to late fifth millennium B.C.E.) archaeological site of Teleilat Ghassul in Jordan. It is native to the Mediterranean and can live hundreds of years, growing best on limestone slopes and crags and in coastal climate conditions. Evergreen olives do not become very tall (25–50 feet), and their trunks often become bent, gnarled, and hollow inside, yet the trees continue to produce fruit. They must be well tended and pruned to remain productive.

 

 

Hill with terracing and olive trees, Israel, 2012. Photograph by Todd Bolen.

The stage of development during which humans used copper or bronze weapons; in the ancient Near East, approx. 3300 to 1200 B.C.E.

The Copper Age of human development, which fell between the Stone and Bronze Ages. In the ancient Near East, it lasted from the late 5th to the late 4th millenium.

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