A Trip to Bet Guvrin
First, the view. A bit hazy, but beautiful nonetheless:
One of Bet Guvrin’s many olive presses. First, the olives were placed in this stone basin; a donkey pulled the stone around and around, crushing them.
Next, the crushed olives were placed in baskets, which were compressed upon each other with weights, causing the oil to run out. The compressed, empty baskets can be seen on the lower left side, in the background.
A water cistern originally, this underground room was subsequently used as a columbarium—a place for raising pigeons for food or for sacrifice. Their dung was used as fertilizer. Soldiers of Anders’s Army chiseled the word “Warszawa”—Warsaw—in the stone in the center during World War II.
The skylight at the center of the columbarium, with pigeons:
What a way to take a bath! The bather sat or knelt on the low, rectangular stone while a person outside, probably a slave, poured water in from the outside. The water came out through a stone spout, the end of which can be seen on the upper right of the photo.