According to a study published by the University of Haifa, 2,300 years ago chicken farming began in Israel. Samples of dozens of chicken bones found in Maresha, in central Israel in an area of the Hellenistic period, showed signs of having been cut up and cooked.
The study states that chicken marketing originated in IsraelAs Lee Perry-Gal, who led the study, explains: "By examining the remains of the Maresha animals we have found the first Middle Eastern evidence of the chicken industry."
Chicken, which arrived in the Middle East around the 5th millennium from East Asia, at first it was considered a strange and exotic creature and was used mainly to make sacrifices that served as an offering to the gods and to organize cockfights. Until now, the date and place where chickens began to be raised as cattle were unknown.
In Maresha, which is part of the Beit National Park, structures for agricultural activity were found, indicating that exports of agriculture and livestock were an economic pillar of the settlement.
Furthermore, wall paintings and chicken images found at Maresha account for the importance of it for the local economy. The study indicates that chickens were raised for eggs and meat.
"Hundreds of years of adaptation of chickens to the Mediterranean climate in the southern Levant, and the assimilation of this animal into the economy of the Middle East, led to the establishment of a type of chicken suitable for the exploitation of the area", says Perry-Gal He adds: “The spirit of globalization represented by the Hellenistic government created the appropriate conditions to change the status of the chicken and its entry into the diet of humans. In Roman times, one or two centuries after the beginning of chicken farming in Maresha, a new type of chicken was introduced, which they distributed to central Europe. '