Ancient olive press found in Jerusalem excavation

Press unearthed as scientists dug out remains from grounds upon which a student dormitory will be built.

July 23, 2013 10:50
Ancient olive press found in Jerusalem

Ancient olive press found in Jerusalem 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Scientists from the Antiquities Authority discovered an ancient olive press during an excavation in Jerusalem, the authority announced on Tuesday.

The archeologists uncovered the press – ensconced in a karst cave – while digging out the grounds upon which a student dormitory will be built for the nearby Jerusalem College of Technology, the Antiquities Authority said.

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“This ancient press for producing olive oil, whose date could not be clearly ascertained, was in all likelihood one that belonged to an old town or a farm that was on these premises,” read a statement from the authority.

“It joins another olive press that was discovered a few years ago in the nearby Beit Hakerem neighborhood on the other side of the Rakafot River. These presses are testament to the centrality of the olive trade to the agrarian economy of Jerusalem and its surroundings.”

The Jerusalem College of Technology and the Antiquities Authority plan on turning the site into a rest area where students and visitors can learn about how the press was operated in ancient times.

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