Our ancestors used olive oil for cooking

Excavation experts have unearthed nearly 8,000-year-old ancient clay pots in the Lower Galileeregion of northern Israel with olive oil residues in them, driving home the point that our ancestors were aware about the oil’s health benefits.

The findings suggest that people first domesticated the olive tree about 8,000 to 6,000 years ago.

“This is the earliest evidence of the use of olive oil in the country and perhaps the entire Mediterranean basin,” says Ianir Milevski and Nimrod Getzov, excavation directors at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The detailed analyses of 20 pottery vessels showed that the pottery containing olive oil dates back to the Early Chalcolithic period, a phase of the Bronze Age.

The olive oil was well preserved inside the vessels for almost 8,000 years, said the study that appeared in the Israel Journal of Plant Sciences.


Olive oil storage during the fifth and sixth millennia BC at Ein Zippori, Northern Israel. Dvory Namdar , Alon Amrani , Nimrod Getzov , Ianir Milevski. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

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