By Mustafa Deveci
An Ottoman-era soap factory has been unearthed in Israel’s port city of Jaffa, according to the Israeli Antiquities Authority.
In a statement, the authority said the soap-manufacturing factory was discovered while workers were rewiring an electricity system in a building in the Old City of Jaffa.
The soap factory (masbaneh in Arabic), which is thought to date back to the 19th century, included several underground chambers, it added.
The soap factory is the second to have been unearthed in Jaffa, giving an opportunity to archaeologists to get a close look into the lucrative soap industry in the area.
The discovery was made as archaeologists were working on building a new museum in the area.
Soap was a popular and lucrative product in the region since the Middle Ages, being sold both locally and traded across the Ottoman Empire, especially in Egypt.
Having ruled Palestine from 1516 until 1917, the Ottomans have left a number of historical monuments and artifacts in the region.
*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this story from Ankara