1,500-year-old wine factory discovered in Israel; Archeologists label it the world’s largest from that era

Archeologists from Isreal have discovered a 1,500-year-old wine factory in the city of Yavne, which is said to have been the world’s largest at the time. Yavne is an impressive industrial estate from the Byzantine period. As per the discovery, it is believed that about 2 million liters of wine were produced every year there and it has a size of a modern-day football field.

The facility in Yavne is comprised of five wine presses sprawling over a square kilometer. Each of the wine presses covered approximately 2,400 square feet of the whole 75,000 square feet. The end product was known as Gaza and Ashkelon wine, after the ports through which it was exported to Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor.

Along with the complex of five wine presses, archeologists found warehouses for aging and bottling the wine, and kilns for firing the jars used for storing it. It was later exported around the Mediterranean after the production process. The structures of the wine factory are arranged and preserved well so as to make it more visually attractive to everyone. 

Moreover, dozens of wine jugs, tall and thin, which were made in large kilns on-site and able to hold up to 25 liters (6.6 gallons), were found during the times.

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The wine was a common beverage in ancient times which is served to children as well as adults, said Jon Seligman, one of the excavation directors. Fermenting grape juice into wine was a proven way in antiquity to avoid illness from contaminated drinking water.