Viticulture in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in the Light of Historical and Archaeological Evidence


  • Judith Bronstein University of Haifa
  • Elisabeth Yehuda University of Haifa
  • Edna J. Stern Israel Antiquities Authority



Crusades, intercultural relations, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, viticulture, wine, winepresses


Archaeological remains of viticulture in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (AD 1099–1291) are quite rare, and those that are present are incomplete. In contrast, textual sources show extensive evidence of grape cultivation, wine production and wine consumption. Based on integration of archaeological and historical data, the focus of this article is on characteristics of Frankish grape cultivation and wine production in the East. By doing so, its goal is to offer new interpretation and identify new questions. Coming from the Christian West, the Latins brought with them a wine culture which differed from that in the area under Muslim rule. This new attitude towards wine expressed itself in the demand for large quantities of wine for nutritional, religious and therapeutic purposes, and consequently influenced vine growing and wine making in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Through the topic of viticulture, we aim to explore the extent to which Frankish society—as a migrant society—assimilated with, borrowed from, rejected and/or influenced its new environment.

Author Biographies

Judith Bronstein, University of Haifa

Dr Judith Bronstein is Senior Lecturer of History in the Department of Israel Studies and in the School of History, University of Haifa. Her fields of research are the Military Orders, the Crusade movement and the Latin East. She is currently engaged in a research project titled ‘Food and Food Habits in the Crusader Context, 1095–1291’, funded by the Israel Science Foundation. Among her publications related to this field of study are The Hospitallers and the Holy Land; Financing the Latin East, 1187-1274 (2005, Boydell and Brewer) and ‘Food and the military orders: attitudes of the Hospital and the Temple between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries’ (in Crusades 12 [2013]: 133-52).

Elisabeth Yehuda, University of Haifa

Dr Elisabeth Yehuda is an archaeologist, and member of the research project ‘Food and Food Habits in the Crusader Context, 1095–1291’, funded by the Israel Science Foundation. She is also a specialist in early Islamic and Crusader period pottery in the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Caesarea Excavation Project. Her special focus is on household archaeology and domestic industries during the early Islamic and Crusader periods. Her main publications include (with Yitzhak Paz) An Early Islamic Industrial Site at Ramla (South) (Tel Aviv 2016, Emery and Clare Yass Publications in Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, Institute of Archaeology).

Edna J. Stern, Israel Antiquities Authority

Dr Edna J. Stern is a senior archaeologist in the Israel Antiquities Authority and a teaching associate in the Department of Maritime Civilizations, University of Haifa. Her research interests include the archaeology of the Crusader, Mamluk and Ottoman periods, with a focus on ceramic finds, maritime trade and the archaeology of sugar production. She is a co-director of the excavations at the Genoese quarter in Acre. Major publications include Akko I: The 1991– 1998 Excavations, The Crusader Period Pottery (2012, ‘Jerusalem’, Israel Antiquities Authority) and ‘Maritime Commerce in the Latin East as Reflected in the Import of Ceramics’, in A.J. Boas (ed.), The Crusader World, 519-43. New York: Routledge.





How to Cite

Bronstein, J., Yehuda, E., & Stern, E. J. (2020). Viticulture in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in the Light of Historical and Archaeological Evidence. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 33(1), 55–78.