Archaeologists uncover ruins of medieval wine factory at Israel’s Yavne sitevar abtest_1803174 = new ABTest(1803174, ‘click’);

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Israeli archaeological site called . is referred to as yawne It dates to the late Bronze Age and late Iron Age and is considered one of the most important Jewish historical sites after the Romans destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Apparently, Yavne was also a major producer of wine during the medieval period. Archaeologists have excavated what they believe was once a wine factory, the largest in the world during the Byzantine era, some 1,500 years ago, according to a Post to Facebook page (and accompanying video) Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

“It was very common for adults and children to drink alcohol in ancient times,” IAA reads the post. “Since water was not always sterile or palatable, alcohol was also used to improve the taste or as a substitute for drinking water,” said Dr Eli Haddad, Liat Nadav-Ziv and Dr. According to John Seligman, who is the director of excavation on behalf of the IAA.


Earlier excavations at Yavne have uncovered several Iron Age and Bronze Age burial points, Philistine artifacts, and pottery, as well as the port of the ancient city, which was abandoned sometime in the 12th century CE. . (The Book of the Maccabees describes the burning of the harbor and its fleet, hence its special significance in Jewish tradition and history.) Excavations in 2005 unearthed the gate rooms of a palace built during the Crusades, when the city was renamed Ibelin. was known from.

YouTube/Israel Antiquities Authority

Another excavation in 2019 found several pottery kilns and many gold coins Gold dinars issued during the North African Aghlabid dynasty – dating to the 9th century AD. one more 425 gold coins The last ones were found, dating back to the Abbasid period, about 1,100 years ago. And earlier this year, archaeologists discovered a 1,600-year-old multicolored mosaic Complete with decorative geometric motifs, from the Byzantine period (circa 400 CE).

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This latest archaeological discovery has unearthed five winepresses along with a walk-in floor to crush the grapes and warehouses to store wine for aging. Archaeologists also found pottery kilns for firing long clay amphora (“Gaza jars”), in which wine was stored along with several intact jars, thousands of pieces and various children’s toys, as well as other artifacts. had gone. The team also uncovered old winepresses dating back to the Persian period, about 2,300 years ago. “The excavations show the continuation of the existence of the wine industry on the site for several centuries,” archaeologists said.

A pair of winepresses for making wine in Yavne, dating back to Byzantine times.
Yaniv Burman, Israel Antiquities Authority

“We were surprised to find a sophisticated factory here, which was used to produce wine in commercial quantities,” The team said in a statement. “Furthermore, the ornamental niches in the shape of a conch, which adorn the winepress, indicate the great wealth of the factory owners. Calculations of the production capacity of these winepresses show that about two million liters of wine are produced every year. While marketing was done, we must remember that the entire process was conducted manually.”

“‘Gaza and Ashkelon Wines’ were considered a quality wine brand of the ancient world whose reputation spread far and wide, a bit like Jaffa oranges reflecting their origins and quality from Israel today,” Archaeologists further explained. “Everyone knew it was a product from the Holy Land, and everyone wanted more of this wine. The wine got its name because of its marketing through the ports of Gaza and Ashkelon. Until now, other sites Where the wine was produced is known from the southern coastal plain, but now, we seem to have found the main production center of this iconic wine. From here, commercial quantities were transported to ports, and then across the Mediterranean in the basin.”

The excavation director poses with a jar of clay and other pieces recovered from the Yavne excavation.  (lr): Dr. Eli Haddad, Liat Nadav-Ziv, and Dr. John Seligman.
Yaniv Burman, Israel Antiquities Authority

Image listed by YouTube/Israel Antiquities Authority

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