The remains of a biblical winery believed to belong to Naboth the Jezreelite was uncovered by the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa.
In a tale told in 1 Kings 21, Naboth the Jezreelite’s vineyard sat next to the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. Ahab coveted the vineyard and offered him both money and a better vineyard in exchange, but Naboth refused to give up his family inheritance. Ahab’s wife Jezebel saw how upset her husband was and offered to take care of the situation personally.
She had Naboth stoned to death.
The findings published in the Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies could not confirm if the winery matches the one described in the Bible because dating technology can only trace back to the times it was used and not to when it was first built. The last time the winery is believed to have been used was during the first century CE, but the events recorded in the Bible are said to have occurred during the ninth century BCE.
“It is possible that the winery already existed back then but it is hard to say, the lead author of the study,” Dr. Norma Franklin, head researcher of the study, told the Jerusalem Post.
“Some scholars believe that the story was actually written down later, around the sixth century BCE, when we can state for certain that the winery was already operating,” Franklin said. “There is no way to know whether what is narrated in the Bible happened exactly as related, but the narrative must have existed,” she added.