Ancient Olive and Grape Refineries Discovered in Egypt's North Coast
Antiquity News for June 9th 2001
By Amargi Hillier
(Matrouch City) An archaeological excavation team led by Mr. Adel Said Yousif, head of antiquities in the Matrouch governate, announced today their discovery of numerous ancient Roman olive and grape refineries. The excavation is located in the Daba area approximately 170 kilometers away from Alexandria. Remnants of the ancient grape and olive processing factories dates back to the Baltic / Roman period spanning from the end of the 4th century BC till the 1st century BC.
Mr. Yousif said that this discovery provides evidence that Egypt was a great exporter to the European countries of grape and olive related items. The excavation consists of numerous ancient factories and refineries which are believed to have also served the market of the Mediterranean Sea. Mr. Yousif added, "We also found a large area containing housing for the workers of these refineries. Many of these housing structures are decorated with interesting mosaics. We also found cisterns for washing grapes and olives; some of which as large as 12 meters square. We also found refineries as big as 100 meters square."
Mr. Yousif also added that Dr. Gaballah Ali Gaballah, head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, gave orders for the continuation of excavating in the area, and to begin restoration of any of the historical findings that are in bad condition.
These new discoveries are the first ancient findings in this Northern Coast area, thus opening up great probability of archaeologists finding more historical structures in this region.