A newly discovered winery in central Israel made some of those of the Mediterranean the best wine of the Byzantine era, in a catch of more than half a million gallons a year, archaeologists from Authority of Antiquities of Israel (IAA) say.
Digging at the site of a construction project on the outskirts of Yavne, south of Tel Aviv, Haddad’steam found five large wine presses, each covering some 2,400 square feet[2,400 sq m]. Any press included trampled floors, where workers pressed the grapes with their feet, as well as compartments for wine fermentation and tubs to collect it. Also in that place were four large warehouses where the wine was stale, as well as ovens where the wine dishes were lit.
We were surprised to discover a sophisticated factory here, which was used to produce wine in commercial quantities, Haddad and co Jon Seligman AND Liat Nadav-Ziv say in a statementsWith It must be remembered that the whole process was carried out manually.
Seligman tells Jerusalem Posts Rossella Tercatin that Yavne was an important city within the Byzantine Empire when the winery was built, around 500 AD.
It was located on what was then a main road, called the Maritime Highway, which ran from north to south, and at its intersection with the Sorek River, he says.
The city was inhabited mainly by Christians and had its own bishop, but there were also Jews and Samaritans living there at the time.
Wine produced in the region in and around Yavnewa was known as Gaza or Ashkelon wine for nearby ports that transported it to other parts of the Mediterranean world.
It was a light, white wine, says Seligman Jerusalem PostWith We have found many wine presses in Israel, but what is unique here is that we are talking about a group of five great, especially beautiful in their architecture.
At the facility, workers initially placed grapes on small floors where the pressure of their weight made them produce free juice, writes Ruth Schuster in HaaretzWith This juice produced the highest quality wine, free from the bitter tannins released when the grape skins were broken by trampling. After that, the grapes went to the floors, where the wine was made less fancy. After the grapes were pressed to the feet, a screw host squeezed their last juices.
These large suppressors were fully planned, says Seligman HaaretzWith All were symmetrical, and their features are all the same. They were built as a complex down to the last detail. It seems to indicate that they were all designed as part of an industrial movement.
Seligman says team is now trying to extract DNA from ancient grape spots, or seeds, found on site to determine what species were used in the wine cellar. Ancient sources describe the gaseous wine served on the coronation feast of the Byzantine Emperor Justin II in Constantinople white as snow.Researchers have also found a large number of wine vessels from the region in Alexandria, Egypt.
It was sent to many, many countries around the Mediterranean, Seligman says in an IAA videoWe were talking about Egypt, we were talking about Turkey, Greece, maybe even southern Italy.
The main industrial-style operation did not mark the beginning of the sites used for wine production. Excavation also found early wine presses dating to around 300 BC, as well as ovens used to make dishes. turning even further, at Middle Bronze period in quantities suggesting an industrial operation.
Usually, in the Middle Bronze Age, find an ovenin a village, says Nadav-Ziv HaaretzWith Here we did not find the village, but found four, maybe five ovens in a row.
Furnaces at that time could only be used once or twice, making dozens or hundreds of ships at a time, before they became useless.
The country apparently continued to host various wine operations under Canaanite and Roman regimes, reaching its highest level in the Byzantine era. After the gradual conversion of Yavnes to Islam, wine operation fell into use until the seventh century CE
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