May 2, 2016
Sweet Honey in the Rocks: Honey, Bees, and Beekeeping in the Ancient Near East
Wednesday, May 4
Breasted Hall of the Oriental Institute
Free and Open to the Public
Honey was used throughout the ancient Near East for sweetening, food, medicine, alcoholic beverages (mead), mummification, and as a metaphor for goodness, abundance, and love. But we know surprisingly little about how bees were first domesticated and the origins of beekeeping. This lecture explores what we can learn about ancient Near Eastern bees and honey from ethnography, archaeology, texts, and art in a journey that takes us from Egypt to the realm of King Midas in Anatolia, and ends in Canaan - the Land of Milk and Honey.