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Posts Tagged ‘byzantine period’

A large Byzantine-era wine press uncovered in the Negev region is only the second of its kind to be found

Source: 1,600 years ago, soldiers may have quaffed wine from this desert press

The wine press in Ramat Negev is intermeshed with a building, as seen above, summer 2017. (Davida Dagan, Israel Antiquities Authority)

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Netivot: Wine presses used in the commercial production of wine

Netivot: Wine presses used in the commercial production of wine

Copyright: Assaf Peretz, courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

Tools uncovered in Netivot Copyright: Anat Rasiuk, courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

Tools uncovered in Netivot
Copyright: Anat Rasiuk, courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

 

 

Original Article:

mfa.gov.il

November 2015

The excavation revealed the remains of a late Byzantine period village dating to the 6th and 7th centuries. One of the most impressive finds of the excavation is a sophisticated wine press that was used to mass-produce wine.

(Communicated by the Israel Antiquities Authority)

In the course of preparations for the construction of a new residential neighborhood in the town of Netivot in the Negev, the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted a salvage excavation of the site. Youths from Netivot and Ashkelon were encouraged to volunteer in the dig, along with a group of future IDF recruits currently performing a year of community service in the area.

The excavation revealed the remains of a late Byzantine period village dating to the 6th and 7th centuries C.E., including a workshop, various buildings and two wine presses. Fragments of marble latticework in the form of a cross and flowers indicate the existence of a public building. Other findings include tools used in daily life, such as clay cups, oil candles and seals.

Ilan Peretz, who supervised the dig for the IAA, noted that one of the most impressive finds of the excavation is a sophisticated wine press that was used to commercially produce wine. He described the process: “First, the grapes were pressed. Then the juice was funneled through canals to a pit where the sediment settled. From there, the wine was piped into vats lined with stone and marble, where it would ferment until it was stored in clay bottles called ‘Gaza jugs'” – hundreds of which have been found on the site.

On the basis of a cross etched into seashells adorning one of the vats of the wine press, the researchers determined that the site served the Christian community living there 1400-1500 years ago.

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Archaeologists uncovered a large Byzantine Age compound west of Jerusalem, with a rarely preserved oil press, a wine press and a mosaic, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Thursday.

“This was very likely a monastery,” excavation director Irene Zilberbod said in a statement.

A spokesperson with the Antiquities Authority said the first clues of the compound were stumbled upon in recent weeks, during construction work on a new residential neighbourhood in the town of Bet Shemesh, some 35 km west of Jerusalem, Xinhua reported.

Excavations later revealed a massive compound surrounded by an outer wall and divided on the inside into industrial and residential areas.

In the industrial area, the archaeologists found an unusually large press that was uniquely preserved and was used to produce olive oil, and a large wine press. The wine press consisted of two treading floors from which the grape could flow to a collecting vat.

“The finds indicate the local residents were engaged in wine and olive oil production for their livelihood,” Zilberbod said.

She added that the impressive size of the agricultural installations shows that these facilities were used for production on an industrial-scale rather than just for domestic use.

Several rooms were exposed in the residential portion of the compound, some of which had a colourful mosaic pavement preserved in them. One of the mosaics was adorned with a cluster of grapes surrounded by flowers set within a geometric frame. Two entire ovens used for baking were also found in the compound.

Zilberbod said that although they found no unequivocal evidence of religious worship — such as a church or an inscription — the compound holds typical features of Byzantine monasteries.

“The impressive construction dating back to the Byzantine period. The magnificent mosaic floors, windows and roof tile artifacts, as well as the agricultural-industrial installations inside the dwelling compound, are all known to us from numerous other contemporary monasteries,” Zilberbod said.

“Thus it is possible to reconstruct a scenario in which monks resided in a monastery that they established, made their living from the agricultural installations and dwelled in the rooms and carried out their religious activities.”

At some point, which the archaeologists dated to the beginning of the Islamic period (7th century A.D.), the compound ceased to function and was subsequently occupied by new residents. They changed the plan of the compound and adapted it for their needs, the archaeologists said.

Original article:
newkerala.com

IMG_0896.JPG,
Israel Antiquities Authority excavation of Byzantine-Era Compound, most likely a monastery, discovered near Beit Shemesh. Photo by Assaf Peretz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

I found more information athaaretz.com

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