Archaeologists Discover Massive 1,500-Year-Old Winery In Israel

(Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Jorge Velasco Contributor
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Archaeologists discovered the world’s largest Byzantine-era wine-making compound Monday that dates back more than 1,500 years.

The winery was unearthed in Yavne, a Jewish settlement during the biblical stage, and contained warehouses in which wine was aged and marketed, Radio Television Ireland (RTE) reported. Archaeologists also discovered “tens of thousands of fragments and intact earthen jars,” the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said, according to RTE. (RELATED: 2 New Dinosaur Species Discovered, Nearly Size Of Blue Whale) 

Turning grape juice into wine, often used medicinally, helped humans evade illness from consuming contaminated drinking water, according to RTE. Holy Land wine was an often prized possession, the IAA reportedly noted. (RELATED: Scientists Believe They’ve Found Physical Evidence For One Of The Most Infamous Biblical Stories)

The winery carried a reputation for dependability throughout the Mediterranean region at a time when wine was common for many, BBC reported.

“This was a major source of nutrition and this was a safe drink because the water was often contaminated,” said Jon Seligman, one of the excavation’s directors.

Israeli archaeologists spent two years digging into the winery, where they also discovered Persian-era wine presses more than 2,300 years old, according to The Jerusalem Post.