Philistine impacts on Levantine agricultural practices

new&nerdlyThere’s been lots of coverage about the changes and adaptations the Philistines made to traditional South Levantine agricultural practices.

"Sycamore fruits" by Eitan f 13:46, 8 July 2006 (UTC) - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
“Sycamore fruits” by Eitan f 13:46, 8 July 2006 (UTC) – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

The actual article all of this is based on is fascinating:

Studying Ancient Anthropogenic Impacts on Current Floral Biodiversity in the Southern Levant as reflected by the Philistine Migration – Scientific Reports
August 25, 2015

"Apricots" by Fir0002 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
“Apricots” by Fir0002 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

In a previous study (Ancient DNA and Population Turnover in Southern Levantine Pigs- Signature of the Sea Peoples Migration? – Scientific Reports), it was determined that European wild boars were introduced into the Southern Levant during the Iron Age, presumably by the
Philistines and/or other elements of the so called “Sea Peoples” migration. This new study focuses on flora instead of fauna. Including the introduction of opium poppies, cumin, and sycamore trees. These plants come from such varied places as Egypt and Mycenaean Greece. The Philistines also gave new uses to plants already found within Israel such as bay trees and coriander.

Just as fascinating was the appearance of apricots and European wild nettle in non-Philistine areas of Israel. Both of these species come from Iran. Who brought them, I wonder? This study opens up all kinds of possibilities in using plant matter discovered during excavations to study ancient migration events.

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