PETER VAN DER SLUIJS, CC BY-SA 3.0, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
HEAVENLY DATES. One of the earliest domesticated fruit trees and one well suited to the dry climate of the Dead Sea, date palms produce a delicious fruit rich in energy and vitamins. The people of ancient Qumran grew dates and likely produced date honey or syrup, which would have been a key source of revenue for the isolated desert settlement. Given its importance to the Qumran community, date honey was also likely consecrated as a firstfruits offering to Israel’s God and then buried in pierced jars that marked the contents as sacred.