Under the asphalt streets of Jaffa, excavators have uncovered industrial liquid
extraction installations amid a series of digs to prepare the area for
infrastructure modernization – the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Tel
Aviv-Jaffa Municipality announced on Wednesday.
Prior to performing
infrastructural upgrades in Jaffa, under the Mashlama Le-Yafo program and part
of the Magen Avraham Compound Project, workers were able to find “impressive
remains” from the Byzantine era, according to the Antiquities Authority. Beneath
today’s Hai Gaon Street are industrial liquid extraction mechanisms capable of
providing a glimpse of hundreds of years of history, the authority
While the installations uncovered were likely used in ancient
times as wine presses, for producing wine from grapes, they also may have been
employed to generate various other alcoholic beverages from the variety of
fruits that grew in the region, joint information from the Antiquities Authority
and the municipality explained.
“This is the first important building
from the Byzantine period to be uncovered in this part of the city,” said
Dr. Yoav Arbel, director of the Jaffa excavations for the
This find is yet another archeological remnant of the
widespread agricultural traditions enjoyed by Jaffa residents for thousands of
years, with evidence beginning in ancient Egyptian documents and leading up to
orchards of the Ottoman period, the authority noted.
particular find demonstrates a wider agricultural distribution in the region
than was previously identified, due to its relatively remote location from Tel
Yafo, Arbel said.
Each of the units excavated was connected to a
plastered collecting vat, which collected the pressed liquids, he
“It is possible that the section that was discovered represents a
relatively small part of the overall installation, and other elements of it are
likely to be revealed in archaeological excavations along adjacent streets which
are expected to take place later this year,” Arbel said.
excavations of the installation were complete, municipal workers laid new
infrastructure on top of the site without damaging it, enabling both continued
infrastructural work as well as preservation, the Antiquities Authority and
All in all, the Magen Avraham Compound modernization
project will extend through No’am, Magen Avraham, Hai Gaon, Yossi Ben- Yossi,
Ardon, Ba’alei Ha- Tosafot and Resh Galuta streets. In addition to revamping
underground infrastructure as well as roads and sidewalks, the municipality will
also be lowering electrical and telephone wires and adding new street furniture
and landscaping, the city said.