'Land of Milk and Honey' it isBeats dog stew in my book.
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS (Jerusalem Post)
Now it's official. The Land of Milk and Honey has lived up to its name.
A Hebrew University archeologist has uncovered the oldest known apiary, or beehive colony, in the Middle East. Prof. Amihai Mazar found the beehive colony, dating to the 10th to early 9th centuries BCE, in an archeological excavation this summer in the Beit She'an Valley.
The biblical-period beehive colony was discovered in Tel Rehov, which is believed to have been one of the Israelite kingdom's most important cities.
Three rows of beehives were found in the apiary, containing more than 30 hives, although the archeologists estimated that the total area may have contained some 100 beehives.
Beekeepers and scholars estimated that as much as half a ton of honey could be culled from these hives every year, the university said Monday.
Plus, there are inscriptions:
During the dig, archeologists also uncovered three ceramic storage jars found near the beehives with the inscription "To nmsh." "Nimshi" is known in the Bible as the name of the father and in several verses the grandfather of Israelite King Jehu, the founder of the dynasty that usurped power from the House of Omri (II Kings: 9-12).
The archeologists involved in the dig believe that it is possible that the discovery of three inscriptions bearing this name in the same region and dating to the same period indicates that Jehu's family originated from the Beit She'an Valley and possibly even from the large city located at Tel Rehov.
The large apiary discovered at the site might have belonged to this illustrious local clan.