Ancient beehives found in Israel

Thursday, September 06, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Archeologists in northern Israel have discovered intact beehives dating from around 900 BC, providing evidence of a bustling honey industry in Israel during the period of the Israelite monarchy.

The 30 3,000-year-old beehives were found during ongoing excavations of the ancient northern town of Rehov. Large quantities of fossilized honeycombs and beeswax were also found.

Hebrew University archeologist Amihai Mazar told The Associated Press that beekeeping was a common practice in the ancient Middle East, where the honey was used for religious and medicinal purposes as well as for food. However, it was previously believed that most of the honey produced in ancient Israel came from dates and figs.

The discovery of a fairly large beekeeping operation in what was only a medium-size town lends further credibility to the biblical description of the Promised Land as one “flowing with milk and honey.”

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