Archaeology Discovery In Jerusalem; Roman Bathhouse, Winery Dating Back To Jesus' Time Unearthed [Video]

In Breaking Israel News, an article talks about the archaeology discovery of a Roman bathhouse and ancient winery unearthed in an excavation in Jerusalem. This discovery tells an impressive story of how life was lived in Jerusalem 1,600 years ago. The excavation was led by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in the Schneller Compound in Jerusalem before construction had begun on residential buildings in the area. The most notable discovery was of the large and impressive winery that dates back to the Roman or Byzantine period. BIN reported that the complex installation of the winery included a pressing surface that was paved with a white mosaic.
In the center of the pressing surface is a pit that has a press screw anchored to it that was used to extract the "maximum amount of must (freshly pressed fruit juice that contains the skins, seeds, and stems) from the grapes." There were eight cells installed around the surface of the press, most likely used to store grapes or to blend the must with other ingredients for different flavors of wine. Archaeologists believe that the winery served the "residents of a large manor house whose inhabitants made their living with viticulture and wine production."

Evidence pointing to the presence of a bathhouse was also unearthed next to the winepress find. Terra-cotta pipes used to heat the bathhouse and clay bricks were discovered near the winery. Some of the bricks were stamped with the name of the Tenth Roman Legion. This legion was one of four Roman legions that participated in the conquest of the Jews in Jerusalem during the Bar Kochva rebellion, according to the BIN article. The units of the Roman legion remained in the city until 300 CE (300 AD). Another Roman center is located 2,400 feet from the current excavation. Located in the vicinity of the International Convention Center (ICC), or Bynyenel HaUma, the Roman legion center was also the location of a large pottery and brick production center.

The archaeology experts at the site suggest that the site, or manor house, was an auxiliary settlement to the previously unearthed site at Binyanei Ha-Uma. It was customary in the Roman world that a private bathhouse was a part of the estate, as evidenced in this archaeology discovery. The current excavation is a continuation of salvage excavations that were started at the site 6 months ago, when evidence was found that implicated a Jewish settlement dating back to the Late Second Temple period, the period between the construction of the second Jewish temple and when Romans destroyed it.
Archaeology expert Alex Wiegman, who is the excavation director on behalf of the IAA, said that "once again, Jerusalem demonstrates that wherever one turns over a stone ancient artifacts will be found related to the city's glorious past."
"The archaeological finds discovered here help paint a living, vibrant and dynamic picture of Jerusalem as it was in ancient times up until the modern era."
A Christian Post article also noted that evidence unearthed in the archaeology discovery points to the Romans arriving in Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago after the city was destroyed in 70 AD. CP said that archaeologists in Israel are "astonished and surprised" after artifacts dating back to Jesus' time were found at the site. Amit Re'em, another archaeologist associated with IAA, was quoted in the CP article.
"We were astonished and surprised by the remains we found here. This is the magic of Jerusalem. Everything is layers upon layers in one place."
The CP article also said the Schneller compound had been previously used as an orphanage and later an Israeli army base. In addition to the winery and bathhouse, archaeologists also found tools for harvesting grain, and red beads which were likely used for trade or jewelry. This new archaeology discovery in Jerusalem is definitely an amazing find.

[Photo Credit: Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority via AP]