We are pleased to note that many American scholars in cooperation with the Hebrew University Expedition To Qedesh In The Galilee were involved with the field work and reports from this site. We intend to reach out to these Americans to learn more about how the ancient people of Upper Galilee produced and branded the oils that they extracted from the Cedars of Lebanon.
We want to take advise from these researchers so that we can bring to the world Phoenician Cedar Oil that comes from trees that grew large at the birthplace of America.
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. As a concise contribution to these discussions, we present here an interdisciplinary analysis of amphoriskoi found with ca. 2,000 impressed sealings from the archive complex of the Persian-Hellenistic Administrative Building. While the building was constructed under the Achaemenids and occupied in both the Ptolemaic and Seleucid eras, the archive was in use only under the Seleucids in the first half of the of the 2nd century b.c.e. Blending organic residue analysis with archaeological and textual data has allowed us to identify with certainty one of the value-added goods most closely attached to ancient Phoenicia, true cedar oil from Cedrus libani. This discovery not only empirically verifies this well-known association for the first time, but also provides a rich context in which to test our assumptions about culturally-branded goods, the role they played in participant societies, and the mechanisms and systems in place that facilitated their production, use, and export.