23 Jul

Ancient olive press found in Jerusalem excavation

An ancient olive press was discovered during excavations in Jerusalem conducted by scientists at the Israel Antiquities Authority, it was announced Tuesday. The press was unearthed as scientists were digging out remains from the grounds upon which a student dormitory will be built for the nearby Jerusalem College of Technology, the IAA said.

Ancient-Olive-Press-Jerusalem“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 an IAA statement. “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 press was ensconced in an ancient, karst cave. The Jerusalem College of Technology and the IAA plan on turning the area into a rest and leisure zone for students who can also learn about how it was operated in ancient times.