Seed, Spade and Sword: The Bible In Context

Helping to illuminate biblical context and background

Holy Land Farming Began 5,000 Years Earlier Than Thought

AVDAT, Israel — For thousands of years, different groups of people have lived in the Negev desert, building stone walls and cities that survive to this day. But how did they make their living?

The current thinking is that these desert denizens didn't practice agriculture before approximately the first century, surviving instead by raising animals, said Hendrik Bruins, a landscape archaeologist at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

But new research suggests people in this area, the Negev highlands, practiced agriculture as long ago as 5000 B.C.Bruins told LiveScience. If true, the finding could change historians' views of the area's inhabitants, who lived in the region in biblical times and even before, he added.

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Last updated by Dr. Ed Bez Mar 19, 2013.

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