Anatolia’s largest olive oil factory unearthed
A Roman-era olive oil factory has been unearthed during excavations in the İskenderun district of Hatay. It has been reported that the structure, which turned out to be the largest olive oil factory in Anatolia, will be turned into a museum.
The excavations that have been carried out by the Hatay Museum Directorate in the Aşkarbeyli neighborhood have come to an end. Examinations revealed that the olive oil factory date back to the 5th to 6th centuries in the Roman era.
Speaking about the works, the Hatay Archaeology Museum Director Ayşe Ersoy pointed out that there is no such large olive oil factory anywhere in Anatolia.
“Olive was found for the first time in the eastern Mediterranean and spread to the whole Aegean and Europe from here. The proof of this is the discovery of 4,200-year-old olive pits in the Toprakhisar neighborhood of Altınözü district in Hatay. This shows that the olive was born on these lands and spread to the Aegean and Europe.”
Stating that Hatay was the fourth largest city in the world after the Roman Empire, adding, “This is an olive oil factory in İskenderun. As far as we know, there is no such a large olive oil factory anywhere in Anatolia. Here, the olives collected from the region were pressed in the factory, washed, then rested in the pools and then exported from here by ships in storage containers. We are planning to turn this area into a museum as an ancient olive oil factory and open it to visitors. We are working on an area of 40,000 square meters.”