Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ancient Wine Press Found in Tel Aviv

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

jaffa-wine-pressTEL AVIV, ISRAEL—Archaeologists at the Israel Antiquities Authority reported the discovery of an industrial installation likely dating back to the second half of the Byzantine period (A.D. sixth century to early seventh century) in Yafo, one of the oldest sections of Tel Aviv. The region was known in ancient times to produce a bountiful array of fruit, and the find was likely used for liquid extraction, such as pressing grapes to make wine. The installation has several surfaces of white mosaic, which would have been impermeable, allowing liquid to collect in nearby vats. "It is possible that the section that was discovered represents a relatively small part of the overall installation, and other elements of it are likely to be revealed in archaeological excavations along adjacent streets which are expected to take place later this year,” explains Yoav Arbel, the IAA's director of excavations.