Opium and Spices: What the Philistines Brought to Ancient Israel

New study finds no trace of sycamore trees, poppies and cumin before the advent of the Philistines, who evidently changed more than the region's geopolitics.

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“Once there were sycamores here,” mourned poet Yitzhak Yitzhaki, referring to Tel Aviv. But actually, sycamores aren't indigenous to Israel. The tree arrived in the Holy Land 3,000 years ago, apparently...