1,500 Year-Old Winery Unearthed in Israel


  A 1,500 year-old winery in Israel is over a square kilometer of land that ancient winemakers once used to press, store, and distribute the wine. Archaeologists speculate that the industrial estate to be the largest in its time. 

  The site contains five winepresses, four warehouses to store and ferment wine, two collection vats and kilns for firing gaza jars to store the wine in. The site is able to produce two million liters of wine a year. The industrial winery would ferment the wine to distribute as fine wine, but there is evidence that most people would consume the wine it produced.

  The archaeologists excavate the site in a public works project in hopes to turn the site into a tourist attraction center. The excavation is part of a community development project in Yavne.

  Wine and other alcoholic beverages are staples for the past. Water is often too contaminated to drink, leaving wine as one of the few sources of safe water. The wine that people consume daily contains a lower percentage of alcohol, allowing people to drink it regularly. The site would produce fine wines for enjoyment, but it distributed large amounts as a staple for regular people. 

  The site provides evidence of the flourishing wine making industry in the Middle East. The wine has been distributed across the Mediterranean, Europe, North Africa and Asia. The industry of the era is rich and plays a major role in the past economy of the region. The estate is highly adorned with carvings and castings of shells, symbols of the estate owner’s wealth. The estate is part of what historians believe to have been a safe haven for Jewish people after Jerusalem had been lost.