The Archaeology of Olive Oil: New Excavations at Khirbet Ghozlan in the Wadi Ar-Rayyan

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ACOR Proudly Presents:
“The Archaeology of Olive Oil: New Excavations at Khirbet Ghozlan in the Wadi Ar-Rayyan” A public lecture at ACOR delivered by Dr. James Fraser on October 30, 2019

About the Lecture:
In the mid 3rd millennium BCE, people abandoned their fortified “urban” settlements and dispersed across the countryside into small village sites. However, their rural way-of-life may have been more complex than traditionally understood. In particular, several small sites have been identified with monumental enclosure walls. Why defend such small settlements?

Khirbet Ghozlan in the Wadi ar-Rayyan is one such site. New excavations test the hypothesis that it served as a specialized olive processing center that was enclosed to protect seasonally-produced caches of oil. This lecture presents recent discoveries including a storage complex, industrial production tools and – most importantly – the microscopic botanical remains associated with olive pressing.

About the Lecturer:
Dr. Jamie Fraser is Senior Curator at the Nicholson Museum (University of Sydney) and has worked on archaeological projects in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kashmir, Greece, Cambodia, and the Solomon Islands. His book Dolmens in the Levant was awarded the G. Ernest Wright Award at the 2018 ASOR annual meeting. He currently directs the Khirbet Ghozlan Excavation Project in the Wadi Rayyan.

Resources referenced during the talk include:

For more content such as this, please subscribe to the ACOR Blog and ACOR Youtube account. A recent lecture given in Arabic may be found here

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