Ancient bathhouse and winery discovered in Jerusalem
Archaeologists digging in central Jerusalem ahead of the construction of residential buildings for the city’s ultra-Orthodox community have discovered a “large and impressive” winery and bathhouse believed to be at least 1,600 years old, Israel’s Antiquities Authority declared on Wednesday.
The Roman or Byzantine era find, which was uncovered in the Schneller Compound, included a complex pressing surface paved with a white mosaic which allowed for the “extracting the maximum amount of must from the grapes” and had eight storage facilities for additional grapes.
According to the IAA, the winery is believed to have “served the residents of a large manor house whose inhabitants made their living by, among other things, viticulture and wine production.”
The bathhouse was discovered next to the impressive winery and is believed to have served the Tenth Roman Legion which was one of four Roman legions that participated in the conquest of Jerusalem and remained in the city until the 3rd century.
Excavation director Alex Wiegmann was quoted by the IAA as saying that “once again, Jerusalem demonstrates that wherever one turns over a stone ancient artifacts will be found related to the city’s glorious past. The archaeological finds discovered here help paint a living, vibrant and dynamic picture of Jerusalem as it was in ancient times up until the modern era.”
Amit Re’em, a Jerusalem district archaeologist said that the find “is an excellent example of many years of cooperation and deep and close ties with the Haredi community. The general public is used
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