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Archaeologists unearth ancient lantern, wine press

Published: Saturday, April 6 2013 10:18 p.m. MDT

A recently discovered 1,500-year-old Christian lantern is seen in Ashkelon, Israel, on Thursday.

Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israeli archaeologists say they have unearthed a 1,500-year-old lantern decorated with crosses and a wine press that shed light on life in the Byzantine period.

The Israel Antiquities Authority this week announced the discovery of the rare items, which were found in the ruins of a Byzantine settlement near the city of Ashkelon.

Archeologist Saar Ganor said the Christian lantern is significant because of the rarity of such items. It was carved in a way that when lit, glowing crosses were projected on walls of a room.

He said the wine press is of note because of its large size. The wine made in such a press was often exported to countries in the Mediterranean as well as Europe and North Africa.

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