1,600-year-old Roman winery discovered
Archaeologists also found evidence of ancient bath houses on the site.
In ancient cities, something as ordinary as building a new apartment complex can lead to the extraordinary.
Features of the winery include a pressing surface paved with a white mosaic. In the center was a pit in which a press screw was anchored that aided in extracting the maximum amount of juice from the grapes. Eight cells were installed around the pressing surface. These were used for storing the grapes, and possibly also for blending the juice with other ingredients, thereby producing different flavors of wine.
The archaeologists believe that this winery served the residents of a large manor house whose inhabitants made their living through viticulture and wine production.
This wasn't the only intriguing discovery on the site, however. Archaeologists also found evidence of Roman bath houses having existed there.
Evidence included terra cotta pipes used to heat the bathhouse and several clay bricks, some of which were stamped with the name of the Tenth Roman Legion, who ruled the area for several hundred years at the beginning of the first millenium.
Alex Wiegmann, an archaeologist and director of the excavation project, summed up the chance discoveries: "Once again, Jerusalem demonstrates that wherever one turns over a stone, ancient artifacts will be found related to the city’s glorious past."
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Related Topics: Archaeology