Massive Ancient Wine Factory Unearthed in Israel
Yavne was a world wine powerhouse about 1,500 years ago: a huge and well-designed industrial estate from the Byzantine period, with a very impressive wine production complex - the largest known in the world from this period, has been excavated in the city over the past two years.
This huge excavation has been conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority as part of the Israel Land Authority's initiative to expand the city. The plant includes five magnificent wine presses, warehouses for aging and marketing the wine, kilns for firing the clay amphorae in which the wine was stored, tens of thousands of fragments and intact earthen amphorae (jars), well planned access between the facilities, and more.
Drinking wine was very common in ancient times, for children and adults alike. Since the water was not always sterile and or even tasty, wine was also used as a kind of "concentrate" to improve the taste, or as a substitute for drinking water.
Each of the exposed winepresses covered an area of about 225 square metres. Around the treading floor, where the grapes were crushed barefoot to extract the liquid, compartments were built for fermenting the wine, and next to them - two huge octagonal shaped vats for collecting the wine.
Between the winepresses, four large warehouses were discovered, which formed the winery of the factory. The wine is aged in elongated amphorae, known as 'Gaza jars'.
The jars themselves, some of which were discovered complete, together with hundreds of thousands of their fragments, were made at the site in large kilns. (INN / VFI News)
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