29 September 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

The world’s largest Byzantine winepresses have been discovered in Israel

Archaeologists say they’ve discovered the world’s largest known Byzantine-era winery in the city of Yavne, south of Tel Aviv.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the factory contains five wine presses, warehouses for maturing and bottling the wine, and kilns for burning the clay amphorae in which the wine was stored.

The site has been dated back to the Byzantine era, around the 4th-5th century CE, and is the largest such complex known to exist from the period.

The winery, dating back 1,500 years, is believed to have produced one of the finest white wines of the Mediterranean at the time. It was widely praised in Byzantine-era literature and known as Vinum Gazetum or Gaza wine because it was exported from the ancient port city near modern-day Gaza.

They estimate the winery produced between two to three million liters of wine a year.

Vats for wine storage at Byzantine winepress in Yavne (Yaniv Berman/IAA)
Vats for wine storage at Byzantine winepress in Yavne. Photo: Yaniv Berman/IAA

According to the excavation’s directors, the magnitude of the site and its ability to produce such a huge amount of wine using manual production methods was unexpected.

“The proportions here are incredible,” said Elie Haddad, an Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist who co-directed the two-year dig.

“A calculation of the production capacity of these winepresses shows that approximately two million liters of wine were marketed every year, while we should remember that the whole process was conducted manually”

Trash area of Yavne Byzantine winepress site where broken fragments of jars were thrown (Yaniv Berman/IAA)
Trash area of Yavne Byzantine winepress site where broken fragments of jars were thrown. Photo: Yaniv Berman/IAA

Each winepress found covers an area of about 2,400 square feet. Around the treading floor, where grapes were crushed by foot, were compartments for fermenting the wine and large octagonal vats that collected the wine.

The IAA said that “Gaza and Ashkelon Wine” was considered a quality wine brand of the ancient world, with a reputation that went beyond the immediate vicinity of the winepresses. The archaeologists said the wine was marketed through the ports of Ashkelon and Gaza — hence its name — and then transported throughout the Mediterranean Basin.

The dig also unearthed even more ancient wine presses about 2,300 years old, pointing to a longstanding tradition of winemaking in the area.

The winery’s owner is unknown, but archaeologists believe the huge, elaborate conch-shell embellishments indicate the owners were rich.

Cover Photo: Aerial view of the Byzantine winepress uncovered in Yavne (Asaf Peretz/IAA)

Banner
Related Post

Roman camp of 10,000 people discovered in northern Portugal

2 July 2021

2 July 2021

A camp used by 10,000 Roman soldiers sent to conquer northwestern Iberia has been discovered in the Portuguese city of...

A 1,600-year-old church has been discovered in Turkey’s ancient city of Priene

19 October 2021

19 October 2021

A 1,600-year-old historical church was unearthed during the excavations in the Ancient City of Priene, located in the western province...

Exciting discoveries at Accana Mound: 3,250-year-old seal belonging to Hittite prince and Akkadian cuneiform texts discovered

19 November 2021

19 November 2021

A 3250-year-old seal of the Hittite prince and a 3400-year-old cuneiform tablet was found in Accana Höyük (Mound) in the...

19 funerary tombs from Roman times were discovered in Tartus, Syria

27 May 2022

27 May 2022

During search and excavation operations in the archaeological area of Amrit in Tartus, Syria, a joint excavation team from the...

Early Roman Aqueduct Discovered in Turkey’s Aydın Province

27 May 2021

27 May 2021

In the Kuşadasi region of western Turkey’s Aydin, archaeologists and scholars unearthed an approximately 2,000-year-old ancient Roman aqueduct. Experts believe...

Researchers find the earliest record of aurora in old Chinese documents

15 April 2022

15 April 2022

Researchers have found the oldest known reference to a candidate aurora in a celestial event, described in an ancient Chinese...

On the beach of Herculaneum, a victim of the Vesuvius explosion was discovered with his bag

4 December 2021

4 December 2021

Archaeologists released haunting images Wednesday of the skeletal remains of a man buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in...

1419-year-old Islamic inscription found in Saudi Arabia

13 June 2022

13 June 2022

Saudi Arabia has announced a new archaeological discovery in Makkah. The Islamic inscription found dates back 1419 years to the...

A new study shows that the cave paintings at Cueva Ardales are the work of Neanderthals

21 August 2021

21 August 2021

A study of pigments used in murals in the Cueva Ardales caves in southern Spain has revealed that Neanderthals, long...

Tombs of elite Wari craftsmen found in the royal necropolis in Castillo de Huarmey, Peru

12 September 2022

12 September 2022

A group of tombs of elite craftsmen of the Wari culture has been discovered at the archaeological site of Castillo...

“Mosaic of the Wine Harvest” mosaic to be exhibited in November in Turkey’s Hatay

26 October 2021

26 October 2021

The mosaic depicting the grape harvest, which is considered to date from the Late Roman period, equivalent to the 5th...

An 1800-year-old geometric patterned mosaic was discovered in Turkey’s ancient city of Bergama

17 June 2022

17 June 2022

During excavations surrounding the Red Basilica at Pergamon, an ancient city in western Turkey that is a UNESCO World Heritage...

The ancestors of many animal species alive today may have lived in a delta in what is now China, new research suggests

20 April 2022

20 April 2022

The ancestors of many animal species alive today may have lived in a delta in what is now China, new...

Iron Age stone altar and gold-plated ceremonial sword discovered in Kazakhstan

14 August 2021

14 August 2021

A stone altar and a gold-plated ceremonial sword used in the early Iron Age were discovered during excavations along the...

Royal Shipwreck From 17th century Is discovered Off the Coast of England

11 June 2022

11 June 2022

Off the coast of England, a royal shipwreck has been unearthed. The Gloucester, one of the most renowned ships of...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.