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Israeli archaeologists discover 1,500-year-old Christian lantern and wine press

  • Israeli archaeologists have discovered a rare 1,500 year old Christian artifact

    April 4, 2013: A recently discovered Christian lantern is seen in Ashkelon, Israel. Israeli archaeologists have discovered a rare 1,500 year old Christian artifact and wine press in the south of the country that shed light on life in the Byzantine period.AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov

  • Gal Sharon from the Israel Antiquities Authority inspects a recently discovered wine press

    April 4, 2013: Gal Sharon from the Israel Antiquities Authority inspects a recently discovered wine press in Ashkelon, Israel. Israeli archaeologists have discovered a rare 1,500 year old Christian artifact and wine press in the south of the country that shed light on life in the Byzantine period.AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov

Israeli archaeologists say they have unearthed a 1,500-year-old lantern decorated with crosses and a wine press that shed light on life in the Byzantine period.

The Israel Antiquities Authority this week announced the discovery of the rare items, which were found in the ruins of a Byzantine settlement near the city of Ashkelon.

Archeologist Saar Ganor said the Christian lantern is significant because of the rarity of such items. It was carved in a way that when lit, glowing crosses were projected on walls of a room.

He said the wine press is of note because of its large size. The wine made in such a press was often exported to countries in the Mediterranean as well as Europe and North Africa.