We love the stories of Jesus. Every good story has a place and a setting. Luke understood that as his Gospel began with the very important telling of Jesus’ coming into the world. Luke introduces us to Mary by writing that the “angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth”. To this day, we often refer to Christ as “Jesus of Narareth”.
We know that Jesus learned from Joseph how to work wood. Any connection to Jesus is a good connection for believing Christians. We believe in Christ and we want to know more about his life. We want to learn more about Galillee. We want to learn more about how the Cedar of Lebanon connects to the Upper Galilee.
UPPER GALILEE AND THE PRODUCTION OF BRANDED PHOENICIAN CEDAR OIL
Our friend, Ghassen Nouira from Carthage, Tunisia, is the world’s leading expert on the production of royal purple dye using the ancient methods of his people.
We have near the west bank of the Upper Mississippi River the largest collection of Cedar of Lebanon logs in America.
Ghassen brought to our attention a recent study that American scholars have just finished – “Phoenician Cedar Oil from Amphoriskoi at Tel Kedesh.” We quote from the study:
“Archaeologists and historians have routinely attributed “branded” goods to particular regions and cultural groups, often without rigorous analysis. Phoenician cedar oil is perhaps one of the best known examples from antiquity. Hellenistic Tel Kedesh in the Upper Galilee region of the Levant is particularly relevant for these discussions by virtue of its strategic role as a border settlement in Phoenicia during one of the most dynamic periods in ancient history.”
We now have about 50,000 lbs of logs that came from the largest Cedar of Lebanon that ever grew in our country and that was at the Tyler Arboretum near the birthplace of our country. We have moved the logs to Iowa and they will now become part of the restoration of the world’s oldest ship replica that has crossed the Atlantic Ocean. We love the fact that these logs will connect our 600 BC Phoenician Ship Replica from the Old World to the New Word.
We estimate that we will have about 10,000 lbs of sawdust, chips and bark from the precious cedar logs. We have already a distiller to recover the oils from the sawdust and chips that went to the floor of the mill when the woodworkers sawed the logs.
Yesterday we began to experiement with the cedar sawdust to determine how we can get the famous oils that were so highly prized by the Egyptian priests in their preparations of bodies of the Pharoahs for burial. The pleasant fragrance came from the sawdust confirming that our logs are rich in those oils that were so important to the history of the Upper Galille during the time of Jesus.