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Oldest Olives Found Near Haifa

Traces of what are believed to be the oldest olives in the world, and indications of their early use for industrial purposes some 7,000 years ago, have been found in underwater archaeological digs off the Israeli coast, south of Haifa.

The turbulent waters in recent storms have helped to uncover the remains of several primitive villages, found between 400 and 500 yards from the present shoreline, indicating that at that time the land extended further westward, with the beach areas eroded over the ages.

According to Israel Antiquities Authority official Ehud Galili, the containers in which the olives were found, and what appears to have been primitive equipment for treating or working with the olives, indicate that the villagers, recently turned from an earlier hunting existence to living by farming and primitive agriculture, were already evolving a “cottage industry.”

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