The Philistines received their supplies from South Asia

This article is taken from the monthly N ° 888 of the Science et Avenir-La Recherche of February 2021.

3,500 years ago, the ancient inhabitants of present-day Israel had already re-imported legumes, spices imported from southern and eastern Asia.

Oil, dry fruits and spices

Christina Warner of Harvard University (USA) and her colleagues analyzed the remains of food preserved in dental appendages from 16 people living in the Near East during the second millennium BCE. They unearthed human remains from the Megido site, traces of sesame and bananas on an oil Iranian skeleton. “These products were probably eaten in the form of oils, dry fruits and spices.“, The researchers say.

A solid commercial network

The results suggest that a strong trade network developed between the Near East and South Asia, from the Middle Bronze Age to the beginning of the Iron Age (around 1500 to 1100 BCE) as the prehistoric period. “We used to think that people get their food locally and import gems from afar, but from the Bronze Age they were importing their food everywhere“, The conclusion of Philipp Stockhammer from the University of Munich (Germany).

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