COURTESY OF THE TEL KEDESH EXPEDITION
PRODIGIOUS PANTRY. The Persian and Hellenistic Administrative Building excavated at the southern edge of Tel Kedesh reveals an administrative center with a large reception complex and rooms for food preparation and storage. Leaning against three walls of the northwestern storage room were 14 storage jars of local production that contained ancient foodstuffs—including cereals, which appear to be the then-rare type of wheat known as common wheat or bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). This indicates there were agricultural experiments at the site and may identify this wheat strain as the contemporary, yet-unidentified “Syrian wheat.” The circular pit on the right is plastered with the same waterproof plaster as the floor and may have served for a secure filling or emptying of jars.