Ancient wine-presses found on Greek island
Greek archaeologists have discovered a complex of ancient farmhouses and large wine-presses on the northern Aegean island of Thassos dating from before the Roman period until late Byzantine times, the culture ministry said Wednesday.
Built with walls of stone over a meter (three feet) high and lined with plaster, the wine-presses were found clustered on a mountain near the coastal village of Limenaria, at an altitude of 500 meters.
The remains of enclosures suggest the presence of large estates that shared the use of the wine-presses, the ministry said.
Though apparently inhabited mainly during the grape harvest, the site was in use from the Hellenistic period that followed the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC onwards.
The local archaeological department has been researching the Thassos site for the past two years.
Also Wednesday, the ministry said that another archaeological team found the remains of a rural shrine to presumed fertility deities near the town of Orchomenos in central Greece.
The shrine had sustained damage in the construction of an irrigation canal in the 1950s, but the archaeologists found thousands of votive offerings, including miniature vessels, animal idols, scarabs, and lamps.
They also found rare clay replicas of flowers entwined with ears of corn, representing gifts left by faithful visiting the shrine.
In ancient times, citizens of Orchomenos are known to have worshipped the Three Graces, daughters of Zeus said to represent beauty, charm, and joy but also associated with bloom.