Honey collection is an ancient activity.

ancient honey collection
Rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin proves ancient honey collection

Humans apparently began hunting for honey at least 8,000 years ago, as evidenced by this cave painting showing a honey hunter collecting honey and honeycomb from a wild bee nest. The figure carries a basket or gourd, and uses ropes to reach the wild nest.

There has been much debate over the dating of a variety of prehistoric rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin, also known as Levantine art  and whether they belong to the Mesolithic, the end of the Paleolithic, or the Neolithic. This painting has been dated at around 8000 to 6000 BC and is at Cuevas de la Araña en Bicorp, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The caves are called the Araña Caves or the Spider Caves, in English, and are a group of caves in Bicorp in Valencia, eastern Spain. The caves are in the valley of the river Escalona and were used by prehistoric people. They are known for painted rock art images including this honey-gathering painting which is believed to be epipaleolithic.  a term used for the "final Upper Palaeolithic industries occurring at the end of the final glaciation which appear to merge technologically into the Mesolithic". (Bahn, Paul, The Penguin Archaeology Guide, Penguin, London.)

Drawing of a painting from the caves of Cueva de la Araña by fr:Utilisateur:Achillea

1 comment:

Paul said...

Interesting we have been hunting honey for so long. It is a shame the state of bees in the world at the moment. Such a decline in population is going to hurt us in the long run. I actually help relocate a lot of bees for a living. That's why I find it so interesting we have been collecting honey for thousands of years.