Ancient wine factory built by Crusaders 700 years ago unearthed – and it’s the biggest ever found


A GIANT booze factory built by warmongering Crusaders has been found under a house in Israel.

The winery, which boasts two areas for crushing grapes, is around 700 years old and may be the largest ever built by the brutal European invaders.

Rabei Khamisy

A 700-year-old winery has been found under a house in Israel[/caption]

The Crusaders barrelled across what is now the Middle East in a quest to capture the Holy Land from Muslim rule during the late 10th Century.

Their violent campaigns, which saw a number of invasions across a 200-years period, are said to have killed ten times as many people as the Vietnam War.

Helped by archaeologist Dr Rabei Khamisy, locals in the Israeli town of Mi’ilya have been working together to shore up the ruins of a castle built there by the Crusaders.

It was constructed for the French king Baldwin III in the mid 12th Century.

Rabei Khamisy

The winery is unusual in that it is two treading floors that run parallel[/caption]

While digging up a house nearby, they stumbled upon a winery of epic proportions.

The site could be the largest wine factory the Crusaders ever built during their presence in the Levant, Dr Khamisy said.

“The Byzantines had much larger wineries, but the Crusaders had nothing comparable as far as we know,” he told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The winery is impressive largely because it has not one but two parallel floors for mushing grapes.

Workers would stamp on the fruit to get the juice out, which would then drain into a huge pit that experts believe was dug centuries earlier during Roman occupation of the town.

Archaeologists think Baldwin III, a Crusader King of Jerusalem, built the town’s castle as a strategic defence fortress.

Rabei Khamisy

Crushed grapes drained into a pit dug out during the Roman era. The pit was later covered by rulers with a vaulted roof[/caption]

It’s not clear precisely when the newly found winery was built, or whether it was directly linked to the castle’s residents.

Locals are restoring the castle and its surrounding structures because its crumbling walls are now putting townsfolk and tourists in danger.

They crowdfunded a project, led by Dr Khamisy, to fix the problem themselves after the local council merely closed roads to protect residents.

The winery was found after local businesswoman Salma Assaf paid for a dig to explore beneath her Ottoman-era house.

Getty – Contributor

Richard I, King of England leads an army of Crusader knights from The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott[/caption]

In other archaeology news, ancient bread was successfully baked by a man who sourced yeast scrapings from ancient Egyptian bread pots.

The wreck of the last slave ship that illegally transported people from Africa to the US after slavery was banned has been discovered near Alabama.

And, we’ve rounded up some of the most brutal ancient burial sites ever discovered.

What kind of wine do you think they made at the site? Let us know in the comments!

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