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Israeli researchers find 6,600-year-old olive pits off coast of Haifa

Israeli archaeologists have found evidence of the earliest-known production of olives for consumption rather than for olive oil, which dates back 6,600 years, according to a University of Haifa study.

Thousands of olive pits are found off the southern coast of Haifa, in an area that is now submerged but was believed to have been part of the northern coast in the past.

Dr. Ehud Galili, a marine archeologist who led the study, says the find enables researchers to trace the uses of the olive tree, from “the use of its wood for heating, through the production of oil 7,000 years ago, to our find, in which the olive was used as food.”

Noting that basins and wells were found in the area, but not houses, Galili speculates that the site may have been an “industrial zone” for olives.

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