Jerusalem Post - 1600 year old estate found

The ancient wine press and inscription uncovered at Tzur Natan.The ancient wine press and inscription uncovered at Tzur Natan.

Israeli archaeologists discovered a 1,600-year-old estate in Tzur Natan in central Israel that they believe belonged to a wealthy Samaritan man.

The words “Only God helps the beautiful property of Master Adios, amen” were inscribed on the property. According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, the description, which dates to the early fifth century, was deciphered by Hebrew University professor Leah Di Segni.

“The inscription was discovered in an impressive wine press that was apparently part of the agricultural estate of a wealthy individual called Adios,” said Hagit Torge, director of the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “This is only the second such wine press discovered in Israel with a blessing inscription associated with the Samaritans. The first was discovered a few years ago in Apollonia near Herzliya.”

Near the wine press, the archaeologists uncovered stone quarries consisting of rock-cut depressions utilized for growing grapevines, apparently part of the Master Adios estate.

The Tzur Natan Samaritan synagogue was transformed into a church in the sixth century. A compound was uncovered nearby, consisting of large rooms and spaces for producing flour, oil and wine. There, a Pompeian donkey mill was discovered, utilized to grind flour and marked with a seven-branch candelabrum.