Haifa University Prof. Danny Rosenberg holds the 7,200-year-old model clay grain silo found at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley.

7,200-year-old Vessel Tells of the Rise of the Elites

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A volunteer holding the vessel

A volunteer holding the vessel (Credit: University of Haifa )

The size and characteristics of this vessel, together with the archaeological context in which it was found, reinforce our assumption that this vessel symbolized the silos and was probably used in a ritual setting, perhaps as part of the ceremonies that preceded the placement of grains of wheat and barley in the silos, or their removal from storage," the researcher explained.

The connection between the growth of food storage capacity and the human cycle of life and death is well known to researchers from various sources, including later findings from the Ancient Near East. "Tel Tsaf offers a glimpse into a unique time capsule, with excellent preservation of organic remains and other archaeological findings that reflect a thriving community practicing long-distance trade. Putting together all these findings, the picture reveals an increasingly strong connection between ritual and intense food storage and consumption. We believe that the economic prosperity reflected by the astonishing findings from Tel Tsaf was accompanied by notable changes in the way the community of Tel Tsaf organized itself, and by rituals and ceremonies that were practiced in order to ensure that this prosperity will last. The model silo found in Tel Tsaf would seem to be one of the best examples of the connection between the wish to store large amounts of agricultural crops in order to gain social and economic advantage and rituals aimed to sustain and ensure economic prosperity" Rosenberg and Klimscha concluded.

The article, originally titled ‘ The connection between an unusual pottery vessel and the development of the elites, ’ was originally published on Science Daily.

Source: University of Haifa. "The connection between an unusual pottery vessel and the development of the elites." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170906144548.htm

Top image: Haifa University Prof. Danny Rosenberg holds the 7,200-year-old model clay grain silo found at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley. (Image: University of Haifa )

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