Investigating a pre-Roman oil press

1 min read
The oil press under excavation.

Excavations near Ferrandina in southern Italy, an area rich in sites dating from the Iron Age to the Lucanian period (8th-3rd century BC), have been investigating an ancient olive oil press identified during preventative archaeological work in 2007. Led by Maria Chiara Monaco, Antonio Pecci, and Fabio Donnici from the Università degli Studi della Basilicata, fieldwork in 2018 and 2019 has exposed more of this Lucanian complex, uncovering remarkably well-preserved olives on the 4th-century BC floor. It is the only pre-Roman oil press in Magna Graecia, and the archaeologists hope future palaeobotanical analyses will shed light on the origin of the Majatica di Ferrandina olive that is grown in the area.

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