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Water Into Wine: Trade And Technology In Late Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

Wine production in the late antique Levant depended on the existence of large internal and overseas markets. Estate owners and farmers reacted to the flourishing late antique wine market by investing heavily in the land. This input included the widespread adoption of, hitherto under-utilised, more efficient wine presses. Accompanying the use of the screw press in wine production was the simultaneous spread of the saqiya. This technology required significant capital outlay and a deep pool of technically skilled craftsmen. The phenomenon thus provides a glimpse of the pace of technological development at least partly driven by market conditions and the spread of technology in the countryside. The large-scale production and shipment of wine from the Levant in Late Antiquity was primarily centred on the farms of the coastal regions.

Keywords: Late Antiquity; Levant; saqiya; screw press; wine presses; wine production



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