In February 2014, a salvage excavation was conducted east of Tel Par (Permit No. A-7006; map ref. 211629–68/741295–330; Fig. 1), prior to the erection of an electricity pole. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Israel Electric Company, was directed by M. Hater, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), K. Sa‘id and L. Talmi.
A simple winepress hewn in nari
bedrock was exposed in the excavation. It consisted of a treading floor (L201; 3.75 × 3.80 m; Fig. 2), filtration pit (L207; 0.75 × 0.80 m, depth 0.55 m) and a collecting vat (L204; 1.50 × 2.35 m, depth 1.2 m). The margins of the treading floor were smoothed over and a T-shaped base for a wooden screw, characteristic of the northern, H
anita-type winepresses, was hewn in its center (Frankel 1999
: Fig. 3). The must flowed from the treading floor into the filtration pit to its west through a channel (L209) hewn in the southern part of the treading floor’s western wall. After the coarse sediment settled, the must flowed from the filtration pit through a perforation into the collecting vat. The walls of the collecting vat and filtration pit were straight and smooth, except for the northern wall of the vat which was semi-circular (Fig. 4). Two steps allowing one to go down into the vat in order to collect the must were found next to the southern wall of the collecting vat. A small sump (diam. 0.4 m, depth 0.15 m) was discovered at the bottom of the vat; it served to collect the remaining sediment.
In an alternative processes, the must produced by treading the grapes could have flown directly into the collecting vat via another channel (L208) set in the southern wall of the treading floor. Presumably, the wine that was produced in this process was of a lesser quality.
No pottery sherds were found in the winepress; thus, there was no possibility to date it. Nevertheless, its shape is typical of the Byzantine period. The winepress belongs to the Hanita-type common in the northern part of the country. Its presence here provides evidence that the distribution of this type extended as far as the coastal plain. The unusually-shaped collecting vat was probably hewn thusly due to the quality of the bedrock. A complex Byzantine-period winepress excavated c. 500 m farther west (Permit No. A-6178) indicates that the area was used for viticulture during this period.
Frankel R. 1999. Wine and Oil Production in Antiquity in Israel and Other Mediterranean Countries (JSOT/ASOR Monograph Series 10). Sheffield.
Peilstöcker M. 2000. Horbat Ivtan. HA-ESI 112:27*–28*.
Yannai E. 2004. A Tomb from the Intermediate Bronze Age near the Village of Ibtin, in the Zevulun Valley. ‘Atiqot 48:9*–14* (Hebrew; English summary, p. 150).