Courtesy Avraham Biran/Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeololgy

Tel Dan olive press. No one argues with the interpretation of Tel Dan’s excavator, Avraham Biran, that this stone slab was part of an olive press. The simple basalt structure is practically identical to many other presses excavated in Israel.

Oil expressed from pulp stacked in baskets on this stone collected in the circular groove and then ran into the channel extending from the groove. The oil then dripped from the end of the channel into a collecting vessel that would have been placed alongside the press.

Biran claims that this press and the installation in the Dan cultic area are contemporaneous. He argues that the Israelites at Dan would not have built two different types of oil presses in separate parts of the settlement.