Archaeologists in Israel have discovered a huge underground winery dating back 1,500 years ago, and researchers believe it could have produced 2 million liters of wine a year
Archaeologists have unearthed a huge ancient viticulture complex believed to be 1,500 years old.
The complex, discovered in downtown Yavne, Israel, includes warehouses, five wine presses, kilns for making clay storage vessels, and tens of thousands of fragments and glasses.
The discovery has shown that Yavne dominated the wine industry during the Byzantine era, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Researchers have estimated the facility could have produced over two million liters of wine a year, reports LADbible.
The team stated, “A calculation of the production capacity of these presses shows that around two million liters of wine are marketed each year, keeping in mind that the entire process was done manually.”
In Byzantine times, around 520 AD, wine drinking was common for adults and children due to poor water quality.
According to reports, grapes are being crushed by barefoot people to extract the liquid in the plant.
This then went to different compartments around the warehouses to ferment the wine and ended up in two octagonal vats that were used to collect the vinos.
One of the directors of the excavation, Jon Seligman, said the facility produced Gaza wine and exported it across the region, the Daily Mail reported.
The researchers now assume that this exposed facility would have been the main production site for the Gaza label.
Israel’s Antiquities Authority said the facility was discovered in a series of excavations over the past two years aimed at advancing Yavne.
Mr Seligman said: “So far, other wine-making locations are known from the southern coastal plain.
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“But now we seem to have found the main production center of this prestigious wine.
“From here trade volumes were transported to the ports and then across the Mediterranean.”
The city is located in the central district of Israel, about 15 miles from Tel Aviv and just a few miles east of the Mediterranean.