A winepress decorated with a magnificent mosaic floor from the Talmudic period (4th-6th centuries CE) was discovered in excavations at the Korazim National Park. The winepress, which was used for pressing grapes for wine, was exposed as part of archaeological excavations at the site, some of which are tourist excavations where visitors can participate and take a significant part in digging and uncovering historical findings
The Korazim National Park archeological excavations are carried out by the Dagesh Company for Tourism Archeology on behalf of Ariel University, the Nature and Parks Authority and with the assistance of the Rakefet Fund of the Finance Ministry.
The winepress is about 16 square meters (172 sq. ft.) and was discovered when a conservation team that worked in the park accidentally exposed the edge of the winepress’s mosaic surface and immediately reported it to the director of the site, Dekel Segev.
According to Segev, “a very small part of the mosaic was discovered many years ago but was covered and not fully exposed, among other reasons, for conservation reasons. In recent years, a few stones from it were scattered throughout the area, but it was difficult to determine its precise location.
“Recently, once the edge of the winepress’s mosaic surface was exposed and it became possible to carry out, we became determined to complete the excavation because it was the only mosaic in the ancient Jewish village of Korazim during the Talmudic period.”
“There were Jews living here, who drank wine and also made wine, as part of the olive oil and wheat industries of Korazim. The winepress provides us with an additional dimension to the uniqueness and completeness of the village, including all its characteristics, including residential, agricultural, ritual baths and, of course, the magnificent synagogue.”
According to Ahiya Cohen Tavor, the archaeologist who leads the excavation at Korazim, “Unlike most of the winepresses located in the agricultural plots, this winepress is located in the settlement itself, and the ancient farmers also invested in the decoration of the floor in a mosaic with patterns of lozenges and squares.”