Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

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

Date:
November 22, 2013
Source:
Brandeis University
Summary:
Archaeologists have unearthed what may be the oldest -- and largest -- ancient wine cellar in the Near East, containing 40 jars, each of which would have held 50 liters of strong, sweet wine.

These 3,700-year-old jars were discovered in an ancient palatial wine cellar unearthed by researchers at Tel Kabri in July 2013. The team worked in day and night shifts to excavate a total of 40 intact vessels during its six-week dig.
Credit: Eric H. Cline, George Washington University

Would you drink wine flavored with mint, honey and a dash of psychotropic resins? Ancient Canaanites did more than 3,000 years ago.

Archaeologists have unearthed what may be the oldest -- and largest -- ancient wine cellar in the Near East, containing forty jars, each of which would have held fifty liters of strong, sweet wine. The cellar was discovered in the ruined palace of a sprawling Canaanite city in northern Israel, called Tel Kabri. The site dates to about 1,700 B.C. and isn't far from many of Israel's modern-day wineries.

"This is a hugely significant discovery -- it's a wine cellar that, to our knowledge, is largely unmatched in age and size," says Eric Cline chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of at The George Washington University. Cline and Assaf Yasur-Landau, chair of the Department of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa, co-directed the excavation. Andrew Koh, assistant professor of classical studies at Brandeis University, was an associate director.

The team's findings will be presented this Friday in Baltimore at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

Koh, an archaeological scientist, analyzed the jar fragments using organic residue analysis. He found molecular traces of tartaric and syringic acid, both key components in wine, as well as compounds suggesting ingredients popular in ancient wine-making, including honey, mint, cinnamon bark, juniper berries and resins. The recipe is similar to medicinal wines used in ancient Egypt for two thousand years.

Koh also analyzed the proportions of each diagnostic compound and discovered remarkable consistency between jars.

"This wasn't moonshine that someone was brewing in their basement, eyeballing the measurements," Koh notes. "This wine's recipe was strictly followed in each and every jar."

Important guests drank this wine, notes Yasur-Landau.

"The wine cellar was located near a hall where banquets took place, a place where the Kabri elite and possibly foreign guests consumed goat meat and wine," he says.

At the end of the season, the team discovered two doors leading out of the wine cellar -- one to the south, and one to the west. Both probably lead to additional storage rooms. They'll have to wait until 2015 to find out for sure.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brandeis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brandeis University. "Archaeologists discover largest, oldest wine cellar in Near East: 3,700 year-old store room held 2,000 liters of strong, sweet wine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131122084543.htm>.
Brandeis University. (2013, November 22). Archaeologists discover largest, oldest wine cellar in Near East: 3,700 year-old store room held 2,000 liters of strong, sweet wine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131122084543.htm
Brandeis University. "Archaeologists discover largest, oldest wine cellar in Near East: 3,700 year-old store room held 2,000 liters of strong, sweet wine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131122084543.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins