Ancient wine jug factory unearthed in Israel

GEDERA, Israel, July 31 (Reuters) - Relics from a large-scale wine jug factory that dates back around 1,800 years have been uncovered in Israel, complete with baths and game boards possibly meant to allow labourers to relax, archaeologists said on Tuesday.

Finds from the site in Gedera include piles of pottery shards, presumably from flawed and discarded jugs, a network of 20 bathing holes and four ancient game boards.

The factory was active for around 600 years, making vessels for storing wine that were popular export items at the time, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in statement.

“The ongoing manufacturing may point to this having been a family business, handed down from generation to generation,” it said, adding that the recreational facilities “served, perhaps, to relieve workers of the demands of their routine labour”. (Writing by Dan Williams Editing by Peter Graff)