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A Massive 1,500-Year-Old Wine Factory Has Been Found

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Archaeologists in Israel have discovered a vast 1,500-year-old winemaking complex.

Five wine presses, warehouses, kilns for making clay storage containers, and tens of thousands of fragments and jars were uncovered in the central village of Yavne.

The discovery, according to Israel's Antiquities Authority, demonstrates that Yavne was a wine-making powerhouse throughout the Byzantine period.

The plant may generate two million litres (about 520,000 gallons) of wine every year, according to researchers.

To put it in context, the UK produces approximately eight million litres per year... only in 2021.

According to the Daily Mail, one of the excavation's directors, Jon Seligman, said the wine manufactured in the area was known as Gaza wine and was exported throughout the region. The experts assume the Yavne area was the label's principal production plant.

"So far, other places where wine was made from the southern coastal plain are known," stated the team behind the finding, which included Mr Seligman.

"From here, commercial quantities were shipped to the ports, and eventually throughout the Mediterranean basin," we believe we have discovered the main production centre of this outstanding wine.

"This was a luxury wine, a light white wine," Mr Seligman added, "and it was brought to many, many nations surrounding the Mediterranean," including Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and possibly southern Italy.

Wine, according to Mr. Seligman, was not only an important export and a source of delight in ancient times, but it was also excellent for you...

"Beyond that, this was a major source of nutrition and this was a safe drink because the water was frequently contaminated, so they could drink wine safely," he continued.

The antiquities authority said the complex was uncovered over the past two years during excavations being conducted as part of the development of Yavne, a town located south of Tel Aviv.

According to stories, barefooted people would crush grapes to get the liquid.

That would be placed in compartments to ferment the wine, and next to them were two octagonal-shaped vats used to collect the vino.

"A computation of the production capacity of these winepresses suggests that around two million litres of wine were marketed every year, however, we should remember that the entire process was carried out manually," the researchers noted.