Qlaʿ: A Royal Oil- and Wine-Production Centre in the Kingdom of Israel

David Eitam, Zvi Lederman, Assaf Kleiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Salvage excavations at Qlaʿ, a small fortified Iron IIB site in the southwestern Samaria Highlands, conducted in 1980, revealed several stone-built structures, numerous rock-cut olive-oil extracting installations and two large wine presses. In this article we present the main findings from this investigation, discuss technological and economic aspects of local production and evaluate the probability of royal ownership. In our opinion, the features of this site and other nearby settlements indicate that it was one of the royal production centres of the Kingdom of Israel in the 8th century BCE. The finds uncovered at the site showcase a unique attempt of transformation from a simple subsistence economy into a surplus production, profit-oriented, ‘market’ economy. This process was initiated and led by the central government in Samaria and probably provided economic prosperity and political strength in the days of Jeroboam II (786–746 BCE). Olive oil and wine were produced at Qlaʿ continuously until the very last days of the Kingdom of Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)18-49
Number of pages32
JournalTel Aviv
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Ancient economy
  • Iron Age IIB
  • Kingdom of Israel
  • Olive oil
  • Qlaʿ
  • Royal production
  • Samaria Highlands
  • Wine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Archaeology

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