Danny Syon, courtesy Gamla Excavations

Gamla’s industrial complex. Since the olive tree, unlike most valuable plants, will grow well in the thin, rocky soil of mountainsides, it was highly suitable for cultivation at Gamla. Consequently, a booming olive-oil industry supported a class of rich merchants who built their homes right next to their “factory,” an olive-press compound, in the western part of the city. The olive-press compound even included a mikveh for the workers in order to produce ritually clean oil. Among the well-preserved structures of the compound is this room adjacent to the oil-press room; arch supports divide the room, and corbels, overlapping stones that supported the roof beams, jut out from the rear wall.