Archeologists find 3,300-year-old burnt wheat

Team from Heb. U., Israel Nature and Parks Authority uncovers 14 large pithoi-style bulk storage jugs filled with wheat.

July 24, 2012 02:59
1 minute read.
Archaeological discoveries

Archaeological discoveries. (photo credit: Sharon Zuckerman)


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Archeologists have discovered large jars filled with 3,300-year-old burnt wheat at the excavation sites of the Tel Hatzor National Park in the Upper Galilee.

A team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) uncovered 14 large pithoi-style bulk storage jugs filled with the wheat inside what was a storage room in a monumental, palace-like building from the Canaanite period (2,000-3,000 BCE), the INPA said on Monday.

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After the jars are fully exposed the researchers will transfer them to conservation and restoration laboratories. Afterwards, the palace will be covered up again until the next excavation season.

Archeological excavations at Hatzor have been conducted by Hebrew University in cooperation with the INPA for the past couple of decades. In 2007, according to the INPA, the hill was given World Heritage Site status.

“Hatzor flourished during the Middle Canaanite period (1,750 BCE) and during the Israelite period (900 BCE), and generated the biggest fortified complex in Israel during this period,” said Dr. Zvika Tsuk, chief archeologist of the INPA.

“The city was one of the most important towns for the duration of the Fertile Crescent, maintaining trade relations with cities in Babylon and Syria, and substantial quantities of tin for the bronze industry were sent to the city.”

Significant excavations in the 1950s and ’60s were led by Yigael Yadin, the archeologist responsible for discoveries at Masada and Megiddo, according to Tsuk. Tel Hatzor received World Heritage Site status, alongside the biblical remains at Megiddo and Beersheba, in large part due to Yadin’s work, Tsuk said.


“The water system built at Hatzor is one of the largest and most amazing that have been exposed in the country, and everyone who continues to explore the site finds more and more secrets and details about our past in Israel,” he added.

Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor, of the Hebrew University, likewise praised the work of Yadin, noting that further excavations at the site were halted after his research until 1990.

“Since then, every summer we reveal another layer in the history of Tel Hatzor and the land of Israel in the Canaanite period – one of the most significant in the life of the Jewish people,” Ben- Tor said.

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