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Archaeology Magazine

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Byzantine-Era Wine Press Discovered in Israel

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Negev wine pressRAMAT NEGEV, ISRAEL—A 1,600-year-old wine press has been found in a large building along the incense trade route in the southern Negev desert, according to a report in The Times of Israel. Archaeologist Tali Gini of the Israel Antiquities Authority said the stone building measured about 44 yards square—large enough to have supplied wine for an army unit or for export throughout the Byzantine Empire. Its juice run-off pit could have held more than 1,500 gallons. “In the entire southern Negev region, there is only one other wine press that is included inside an enclosed structure,” commented archaeologist Yoram Chaimi. Gini thinks the winepress fell out of use after a sixth-century plague, when there was less need for wine in the region. For more, go to “A Prehistoric Cocktail Party.”

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