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January 2021 Webinar: The archaeology of olive oil: British Museum excavations of a 4,500-year-old olive factory in the Wadi ar-Rayyan in Jordan.
January 28, 2021 @ 5:30 pm
The archaeology of olive oil: British Museum excavations of a 4,500-year-old olive factory in the Wadi ar-Rayyan in Jordan.
Jordan was one of the first places in the world to domesticate the olive, and olive oil would play a key role in the development of civilizations that followed. But what does the archaeology of olive oil production look like? In this talk, Dr Jamie Fraser discusses excavations of an ancient olive oil factory at Khirbet Ghozlan in the Wadi Rayyan in north Jordan, c.2500 BCE. This small, rural site is important because it dates to a period of urban collapse, during which the region’s earliest cities were abandoned. By investigating olive oil production at Khirbet Ghozlan, we understand the resilience of Jordan’s ancient olive oil industry in times of recession, and its role as a springboard on which Bronze Age cities would eventually recover in the 2nd millennium BCE.
Dr Jamie Fraser is Curator for the Ancient Levant and Anatolia at the British Museum. He has worked on archaeological projects in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kashmir, Greece, Cambodia, and the Solomon Islands. His book Dolmens in the Levant about Bronze Age tomb monuments was awarded the G. Ernest Wright Award in 2018. Jamie currently directs the Khirbet Ghozlan Excavation Project in the Wadi ar-Rayyan.