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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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2,700-Year-Old Farmhouse Unearthed in Israel

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Israel farm silo ROSH HA-‘AYIN, ISRAEL—A 2,700-year-old farmhouse and a 1,500-year-old church have been unearthed in excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority ahead of a residential construction project in central Israel. The farmhouse had 24 rooms, and a silo in its courtyard for grain storage. Its well-preserved walls stand more than six feet tall. “It seems that carbohydrates were as popular then as now, and the growing and processing of grain were fairly widespread in the rural-agricultural region,” excavation director Amit Shadman said in a press release. The team, which included volunteer teenagers, also uncovered millstones for grinding the grain into flour and rock-hewn oil presses for the production of olive oil. The farmhouse site also yielded two silver coins dating to the fourth century B.C. that bear images of the goddess Athena and the Athenian owl. Excavators also discovered a Byzantine monastery, a church with mosaic floors, an oil press, and a stable complete with mangers and troughs. Much of the monastery was destroyed by a lime kiln installed during the Ottoman period. To read about another site known for its mosaics, go to "Zeugma After the Flood."

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