Archaeological Industrial Winery

September 25th, 2014 suvinowineryaz

Only a few days ago archeologists in Ramat Bet Shemesh of Israel uncovered a Byzantine era site that has the inklings of an industrial level winery and olive oil factory. Although it looks nothing like our modern era oil and wine factories, especially with most of the walls missing, it houses a number of oil and wine presses, as well as beautiful mosaics. Most peculiar of all are the unusually large press that supposedly was used for olive oil, and an even bigger one just outside the compound for making wine.


Although most of the Byzantine site is still being analyzed, experts are sure the site used to be a monastery, and they mass-produced oils and wine as one of the ways to keep the monastery stayers busy and to provide a profit. The large and beautiful mosaic floors in particular were a big giveaway as to what kind of building they were dealing with. There was only one big missing feature and that was a church of some kind.


The archeologists believe that maybe this monastery was solely for the living of the monks with no actual service area, and that they lived off producing crops outside the compound and then pressing them into useful foods to be traded with, so they could maintain a living. Although some living quarters were found, many of the archeologists believe that at some point the place stopped being a monastery and someone else occupied it.


Any other information is just speculation so far, but it does seem that even in the ancient Byzantine Empire there might have been wineries and wine production on the commercial level. It just goes to show how old wine can truly be.





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