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Olive Tree, Olive Oil

(378 words)

Author(s): Staubli, Thomas
[German Version] Evidence of Olea europaea has been found in the Negeb desert from the paleolithic age, and in the Jordan valley from the pre-ceramic neolithic age. From October the olives are picked or beaten off the trees, then crushed and pressed. From the pressed juice the oil is decanted into storage jars. Because of the long period of maturation, anyone who plants olive trees is working for future generations. The oil served as food and fuel, for body care and medicine, its waste as cattle feed. The oil was very important for taxation ( KTU 4, 132 [5]; 1 Sam 8:14; Ezra 7:22). The fi…

World Tree

(792 words)

Author(s): Vollmer, Ulrich | Staubli, Thomas
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The notion of a wor…


(2,151 words)

Author(s): Staubli, Thomas | Janowski, Bernd | Figal, Günter | Jüngel, Eberhard
[German Version] I. Archaeology and Religious Studies The wild predecessors of cultured vines ( Vitis vinifera vinifera


(1,026 words)

Author(s): Uehlinger, Christoph | Staubli, Thomas
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Charms against snakebite and techniques for taming snakes are part of the repertoire of many religions. Frequently repeated, controlled snakebites can make a person immune to the venom and allow it to be used as a drug. The assessment of snakes and serpents varies, depending on whether they appear as enemies (Egyp. Apophis, Indian Vṛṭṛa, Hitt. Illuganka, West Sem. Leviathan, Bab. Tiamat) or as com…


(180 words)

Author(s): Staubli, Thomas
[German Version] (Heb. תְּרָפִים), in the Old Testament a household means of divination. A teraph could be tucked away in a camel saddle (Gen 31:19, 34f.), resemble a human being (1 Sam 19:13, 16), and sometimes be made of wood and be part of the cultic inventory of a private sanctuary (Judg 17f.). There is some evidence that teraphim were effigies of deified ancestors (III; Hereafter, Concepts of the). Efforts to identify teraphim definitively with archaeological artifacts associated with the ancestor cult have so far proved unsuccessful. The finds in question i…