The vineyards of Lachish

Today the area around Lachish is one of the prime wine-growing regions in Israel. It must be the soils and the climate, for in the past vineyards surrounded ancient Lachish. We know this from pictures and remains uncovered on the site.

The Lachish reliefs show vines schematically, illustrating the landscape through which the soldiers advanced on the city of Lachish. After the destruction by the Assyrians the city lay abandoned for some time. Later, it flourished again during the final years of the kingdom of Judah. During that time Lachish also was a center for wines. A building for the storing and processing wine was discovered in the most recent excavations. In one room more than 40 storage jars were found, as well as several large decanters and 7 small decanters. Two decanters bore Hebrew inscriptions that refer to specific types of wine. An inscription on a storage jar is also likely to refer to wine. From this room a channel led to a basin in another room. Were they blending wines? Were they pouring them into smaller vessels, in modern terms bottling them?

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