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Huge Crusader-era winery found under Israeli village

Remnants of a large, medieval winery believed to date back to the era of the Crusades have been found underneath a house in modern-day Israel, according to local reports.

The ancient winery was uncovered in the village of Mi’ilya in northern Israel, which was also the site of a castle built by King Baldwin III of Jerusalem in the 12th Century.

A woman who saw archaeologists working on the castle asked for a privately funded dig under her own house, and that is where the winery was discovered.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the winery was unusual, because it had two treading floors for crushing grapes, instead of one.

The Byzantines had much larger wineries,’ the paper quoted Rabei Khamisy, the archaeologist who led the excavation, as saying. ‘But the Crusaders had nothing comparable, as far as we know.’

A Roman-era pit was discovered next to the treading floors.

The owner of the house, Salma Assaf, has built a restaurant with a glass-panelled floor on top of the winery to attract tourists, said Haaretz.

See also: 

Hidden message reveals ancient soldiers’ thirst for wine


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