Ancient wine factory a glimpse into global market

An ancient wine factory the size of a football field has been uncovered in Israel.

It's a glimpse into how the drink was made some 1,500 years ago.

The stone structures are well preserved, from the platform where grapes were piled up to the grape-stomping floor and collection basins.

Jon Seligman is one of the excavation directors and he says the mere size of the factory is astounding.

“The big deal is the size of this complex and also the fact that it's also clustered to create one sort of whole unit, that's never been found in this kind of quantity or this kind of clusterdness, if that's a word. So the fact the we have all of this together in one place is what is the new aspect of this excavation."

The country’s Antiquities Authority has estimated over 500,000 gallons of wine were produced per year in these five presses.

It was a common drink in ancient times, served to both children and adults and was often a substitute for water, which was not always safe to drink.

Hagit Torge from Israel’s Antiquites Authority said it probably tasted sweet.

"The taste of Europeans at that period was a sweet wine because a lot of times, in order to prevent from getting sick from the water, you'd pour wine into the water and then even babies and small children drank water with wine and the sweet taste of the wine, sweetens the water and it was a real hit during the Byzantine period."

Dozens of wine jugs were also found.

They were known as “Gaza jars” after the nearby port where they were exported and could hold nearly 7 gallons.

The jars have been found across Europe, evidence that the wine was in high demand.

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