Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol 16, No 1 (2003)

Cash Crop Production and Storage in the Early Bronze Age Southern Levant

Hermann Genz
Issued Date: 21 Mar 2007


Often an Egyptian demand for olive oil and wine is seen as a stimulus not only for the increasing production of these commodities in the Early Bronze Age (EBA) southern Levant, but also for their growing socioeconomic importance. While the import of southern Levantine wine to Egypt is proven by archaeological finds, the scale of this trade as well as its significance for the socioeconomic development of the southern Levant is debatable. It is more likely that the production of cash crops in the southern Levant was primarily directed towards the needs of local markets, and that it was local elites who gained power by controlling the flow of agricultural goods between the highlands and the lowlands. Thus the production of cash crops may be regarded as one of the factors that led towards increasing social stratification, eventually resulting in an urban society in the EBA southern Levant.

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DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v16i1.59


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