A toast to antiquity!
Israeli archaeologists unearthed a huge 1,500 year old winery.
The complex, discovered in Yavne, south of Tel Aviv, includes five wine presses, warehouses, kilns for making clay vessels, and many jars made from clay, the researchers said.
The Israel Antiquities Authority said the discovery shows that Yavne was a center of winemaking during the Byzantine era. The researchers estimate that the facility could produce around two million liters of wine per year.
The wine made in the area was known as “Gaza” wine and was exported across the region, said Jon Seligman, one of the excavators. The researchers believe that the Yavne site was the main manufacturing facility for the brand.
“It was a prestige wine, a light white wine that was brought to many, many countries around the Mediterranean,” says Seligmann.
According to this, wine was not only an important export good in antiquity. “In addition, it was an important source of food and a safe drink, because the water was often contaminated so that wine could be safely drunk,” says the expert.