Home » Science » Archaeologists discover largest, oldest wine cellar in Near East: 3,700 year-old store room held 2,000 liters of strong, sweet wine

Archaeologists discover largest, oldest wine cellar in Near East: 3,700 year-old store room held 2,000 liters of strong, sweet wine


Nov. 22, 2013 — Would you drink wine flavored with mint, honey and a touch of psychotropic resins? Historical Canaanites did greater than three,000 years in the past.

Archaeologists have unearthed what is also the oldest — and biggest — historic wine cellar within the Close to East, containing forty jars, each and every of which might have held fifty liters of robust, candy wine. The cellar was once revealed within the ruined palace of a sprawling Canaanite metropolis in northern Israel, referred to as Tel Kabri. The website online dates to about 1,seven-hundred B.C. and is not some distance from lots of Israel’s up to date-day wineries.

“This can be a massively important discovery — it can be a wine cellar that, to our data, is essentially unmatched in age and dimension,” says Eric Cline chair of the Division of Classical and Close to Jap Languages and Civilizations of at The George Washington College. Cline and Assaf Yasur-Landau, chair of the Division of Maritime Civilizations on the College of Haifa, co-directed the excavation. Andrew Koh, assistant professor of classical research at Brandeis College, was once an affiliate director.

The workforce’s findings will probably be offered this Friday in Baltimore on the annual assembly of the American Colleges of Oriental Analysis.

Koh, an archaeological scientist, analyzed the jar fragments the use of natural residue diagnosis. He discovered molecular traces of tartaric and syringic acid, each key elements in wine, in addition to compounds suggesting elements common in historic wine-making, together with honey, mint, cinnamon bark, juniper berries and resins. The recipe is much like medicinal wines utilized in historical Egypt for 2 thousand years.

Koh additionally analyzed the proportions of every diagnostic compound and revealed outstanding consistency between jars.

“This wasn’t moonshine that somebody used to be brewing of their basement, eyeballing the measurements,” Koh notes. “This wine’s recipe used to be strictly adopted in every jar.”

Essential visitors drank this wine, notes Yasur-Landau.

“The wine cellar was once situated close to a corridor the place banquets passed off, a spot the place the Kabri elite and presumably overseas company consumed goat meat and wine,” he says.

On the finish of the season, the staff found out two doorways major out of the wine cellar — one to the south, and one to the west. Each most probably result in further storage rooms. They will have to attend unless 2015 to seek out out needless to say.