Archaeologists have revealed what could be part of a 1,500-year-old wine-making factory underneath a street in the ancient city of Jaffa, now part of Tel Aviv, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced.
Researchers think the installation dates back to the second half of the Byzantine period, around the sixth to early seventh centuries A.D. Its smooth, mosaic surfaces suggest it was used in the production of some kind of liquid.
“Due to the mosaic’s impermeability, such surfaces are commonly found in the press installations of the period, which were used to extract liquid,” Yoav Arbel, director of the IAA excavations, said in a statement. “Each unit was connected to a plastered collecting vat. The pressing was performed on the mosaic surfaces whereupon the liquid drained into the vats.”
They put in a couple of caveats as to the wine-making idea. I don’t know much about them, although it seems odd to me that a mosaic surface would be part of a pressing operation. Not terribly old either.