We love the stories of Jesus. Every good story has a place and a setting. Luke understood that as his Gospel began with 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 days, 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.
Yesterday we told Ghassen that we have near the banks of the upper Mississippi River the largest collection of Cedar of Lebanon logs in America. We asked him if he could tell how we could extract essential oils from cedar sawdust, bark and chips.
Today 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 ordered a distiller to recover the oils from the sawdust and chips that will go to the floor of the mill as we saw and turn the logs.
Next week we will begin to experiement with the cedar sawdust to determine how we can get the oils. The pleasant fragrance coming from the wood confirms that the logs are rich in the oils that were so important to the history of the Upper Galille during the time of Jesus.
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 follow their instructions so that we can bring to the world Phoenician Cedar Oil that comes from trees that grew large at the birthplace of America.