A large wine press that dates to the Byzantine period, rooms paved with a large white mosaic (1.0 x 1.5 m in size) and work surfaces were exposed in the settlement of Bat Shlomo, next to Highway 70. The excavations are being carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority, in an area slated for work by the Electric Company. Following the discovery of the finds it was decided to conduct an extensive excavation at the site with funding that will be provided by the Electric Company.
The excavation area is located on the southern fringes of the site of Horbat Qetina, c. 70 m northeast of the site Beer Qetina. These sites are declared antiquities sites where the remains of installations, white tesserae and pottery sherds that date to the Persian, Roman-Byzantine and Ottoman periods were found in the past.
During the course of the excavations, archaeologist Murad Tabar, the excavation director, exposed a structure containing a large complex wine press that dates to the Byzantine period. The plan of this wine press resembles those of the wine presses that were previously exposed at Horbat Castra, Mazor and Kfar Sirkin. A large area that included a treading floor with work surfaces arranged around it, storage cells and collecting vats was exposed along side the wine press. White industrial mosaic floors were also exposed in some of the rooms in the wine press.
South of the treading floor was a room whose ceiling collapsed; inside it were three steps that were also paved with a white industrial mosaic.
Archaeologist Tabar said he believes this installation was once part of the industrial area of Horbat Qetina and possibly also of Beer Qetina.
Further excavations at the site, funded by the Electric Company, will be resumed in the near future.
Tabar also said, “Depending on how the excavation progresses, we will try to determine if it is possible to identify Horbat Qetina with the settlement “Qetinit”, which is mentioned as a settlement in the Galilee from the time of the Mishnah and Talmud, or the city of Kattath, which is mentioned in the Book of Joshua in the bible”.