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A 1500-year-old wine factory, known as the largest in the world - Walla! Tourism

2021-10-11T06:12:57.771Z

The huge 1,500-year-old industrial area was uncovered in archeological excavations before the city expanded. Archaeologists: "About 2 million liters of white wine are produced here every year"



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A 1500-year-old wine factory, known as the largest in the world, was unveiled in Yavne

Global sensation in Yavne: The huge industrial area from the Byzantine period, uncovered in archeological excavations before the expansion of the city.

Archaeologists: "About two million liters of white wine are produced here every year."

Come see the impressive wineries before they are temporarily covered

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  • Israel Antiquities Authority

  • Archeology

  • Yavne

Ziv Reinstein

Monday, 11 October 2021, 08:55 Updated: 09:10

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A huge 1500-year-old wine factory was discovered in Yavne (Photo: Yaniv Berman)

Yavne

was a world wine powerhouse about 1,500 years ago:

a huge and well-designed industrial area from the Byzantine period, with a very impressive wine production plant - the largest known in the world from the period, has been unveiled in the city over the past two years.

This, in a huge excavation conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority as part of the Israel Land Authority's initiative to expand the city.

The plant includes five magnificent wine cellars, warehouses for aging and marketing the wine, kilns for burning the clay jars in which the liquids were stored, tens of thousands of fragments of earthen jars and jars that were found intact, neat access routes between the facilities, and more.



Drinking wine was very common in ancient times, for children and adults alike.

Since the water was not always sterile and tasty, wine was also used as a kind of "concentrate" to improve the taste, or as a substitute for drinking water.

Each of the exposed winepresses covered an area of ​​about 225 square meters. Around the treading floor, where he stepped on the grapes barefoot to extract the liquid from them, cells were built for fermenting the wine, and next to them - two cisterns for collecting the wine, whose shape is octagonal.

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The ancient wine industry area in Yavne (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

The excavation site in Yavne - Aerial view (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Assaf Peretz)

Dr. Eli Hadad with a Gaza jar discovered in an excavation (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

According to Dr. Eli Hadad, Liat Nadav-Ziv and Dr. Yohanan (John) Seligman, the directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "we were surprised to discover a sophisticated factory here, which was used to produce wine in commercial quantities. "Semicircles) in the shape of an oyster, which adorned the winepresses, and indicate the great wealth of the factory owners. An estimated calculation of the production capacity of the winepresses shows that about 2 million liters of wine were marketed every year Remember that the whole process is then done manually. "



Between the winepresses, four large warehouses were discovered, which formed the winery of the factory. The wine is aged in elongated jars, known as 'Gaza jars'. The jars themselves, some of which were discovered in their entirety and tens of thousands more of their fragments were discovered in the excavation, were made at the site in large kilns.



"Gaza and Ashkelon Wine" is considered the quality wine brand of the ancient world, a bit like JAFFA oranges from Israel, whose name has spread far and wide, "the archaeologists explain." The vessels and wine produced in Yavne gained international fame and reached Europe and Africa. Everyone knew that this was an Eretz Israel product, and everyone wanted more and more of this good. The wine - which was white wine, got its name because it was marketed through the ports of Gaza and Ashkelon. So far, we have known other sites where the wine is made in the South Coast lowlands, but now, we seem to have found the main production center of the prestigious wine. From here - commercial quantities went to the ports, and from there - throughout the Mediterranean basin and / or the ancient world. "



It is interesting to know that the excavation in Yavneh revealed rare, even older winepresses - from the Persian period - about 2300 years ago.

"In the Mishnah it is said that after the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jewish leadership migrated to Yavne, and that the sages of Yavneh lived in the vineyard and studied Torah. The existence of a wine industry on the site over many centuries, "say archaeologists.

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Column bases that supported the huge wine warehouse (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

The director of the excavation, Liat Nadav-Ziv.

The highlight of the wineries are cells in the shape of a shell - a decoration that indicates the wealth of the factory owners (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

Pits for collecting wine whose shape is octagonal (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

Come tour the winery

According to Eli Escozido, Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The Yavneh excavation is a mega-excavation of the Israel Antiquities Authority that covers tens of dunams, with the participation of hundreds of workers and dozens of permanent staff and experts. "And our archaeologists. Our archaeologists are doing sacred work by exposing unknown chapters in the history of the country, while working hard and cold. I welcome the cooperation with the Israel Land Authority and the Yavne Municipality, which will allow some of the impressive excavation findings to be presented to the general public."



Yaakov Quint, director of the Israel Land Authority, said that "the treasures inherent in the land are revealed thanks to the Israel Land Authority's extensive investment in financing the archeological excavations in Yavneh." 1049). The plan will include 12,500 housing units and 450,000 square meters of trade and employment. The plan includes doubling the railway track and construction over a train station. As part of the preliminary work to develop the plan, the Israel Land Authority is investing approximately NIS 200 million in the work of the Israel Antiquities Authority, which will enable the archaeological finds to be exposed, investigated and preserved for the benefit of future generations. "



According to the Mayor of Yavne, Zvi Gov-Ari: "The impressive findings strengthen the recognition of the importance of the city of Yavne and its glorious past throughout all periods. "That was supposed to pass through the site will be upgraded to a bridge that will allow the site to continue to exist. This type of activity in cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority has not been done in other projects in the country, and this is an opportunity to thank all parties for their cooperation."



The Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel Land Authority and the Yavne Municipality invite the public to tour the wine factory, before it is covered in order to protect it from the impending rains.

Later, the wineries will be preserved and made accessible to the public as part of an archeological park to be established on the site.

The tours will take place on Friday, 18.10.2021.



Arrival: Pre-register at the link and on the Facebook page of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Cells in the winery were decorated in the shape of a conch (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

A jar with a lid that was exposed in the excavation (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

Hundreds of thousands of finds unearthed in the huge excavation in Yavne (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

An ancient garbage pit contained fragments of damaged jars (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

Excavation directors, from right to left: Dr. Yochanan (John) Seligman, Liat Nadav-Ziv and Dr. Eli Hadad (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaniv Berman)

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Source: walla

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