The largest wine-making complex discovered during excavations in Yavne means that during the Byzantine era this city was the largest wine-making center in the world. Writes about this Phys.org.
Israeli archaeologists on Monday, October 11, said they have unearthed a huge ancient wine complex. They found a huge industrial area that reached its heyday about 1,500 years ago. It consisted of at least five wineries, as well as pottery workshops where jugs were made.
The area of each winery reached 225 sq. m. Around the pools, where the grapes were pressed with their feet, there were fermentation tanks. Huge wine warehouses were found nearby. Researchers estimate that the ancient winery could produce about 2 million liters of wine per year.
John Seligman, one of the leaders of the excavation, said that the wine produced in the area was known as wine from the Gaza: “It was a light white wine and was transported to many, many Mediterranean countries, he said – including Egypt, Turkey, Greece and possibly southern Italy. ”
Scientists added that the ancient world had the term “wine from Gaza and Ashkelon” as a quality mark. It got this name because it was exported through these ports.
“We were surprised to find such a complex enterprise that produced wine on an industrial scale. The niches in the form of shells, which served for decoration, were especially surprising. They testify to the wealth of winery owners, ”archaeologists say.
According to the Mishnah, an ancient Hebrew religious and legal collection, the sages who fled Jerusalem after the destruction of the Second Temple took refuge in the vineyards of Yavne, then we can conclude that the winemaking tradition of the city has been continuous for several centuries.
There are about 20 thousand places in Israel where archaeological excavations are being carried out, protected by law. Permits for excavation work by an expedition – both Israeli and foreign – are issued by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which is entrusted with the protection of antiquities. Israel’s antiquities law requires that every site slated for construction be examined for archaeological values and, if necessary, excavated.