Israeli archaeologists uncover world’s largest Byzantine wine factory

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , , ,

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Monday that archaeologists excavating in Yavne, central Israel, recently unearthed the largest Byzantine-era wine production facility ever discovered, the Post (JPost) reports. While also home to Jews and Samaritans 1,500 years ago, Yavne was an important, primarily , city at the time.

According to IAA experts, the newly uncovered facility produced up to two million liters a year of what was known as Gaza or Ashkelon wine, after the ports from which it was exported, JPost reports. The large facility includes five wine presses, as well as treading floors, two octagonal vats, storage rooms and kilns for making jars to hold the wine.

In a statement, IAA archaeologist Dr. Jon Seligman, co-director of excavation with Dr. Elie Haddad and Liat Nadav-Ziv, said the wine produced in Yavne was well known and prestigious. “It was a light, white wine,” he said. “We have found many wine presses in Israel, but what is unique here is that we are talking about a cluster of five huge ones, especially beautiful in their architecture.”

Concerning the city where the facility was located, Seligman said: “Yavne was important enough to be put in a map from the period with Jerusalem, featuring three large churches. First and foremost, it was a Christian town.”

“We have been exposing an industrial area of ancient Yavne,” Seligman added. “We found remains of other industries, for example, producing glass and metal. We also found remains from other periods, such as a house from the ninth century and some other buildings from the interim period between the Byzantine and Islamic periods.”

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