George L. Klem

Newly uncovered, the central basin of an olive press at Tel Batash still brims with broken storage jars and other debris. Two buried stone vats with plastered stone platforms around their mouths flank the basin. Also discovered near the press, but not seen in this photo, were two large stone weights.

Olive oil was extracted in this press by the same two-step method proposed for the Tel Dan installation. First, the olives were crushed in the central vat. Then the pulp was loaded into baskets that were stacked directly onto the stone platforms. The pulp was then pressed by a weighted beam, and expressed oil flowed into the vats.