Middle East : the oldest wine cellar excavated

Tuesday December 03 2013 by Vitisphere

Forty 60-liter ceramic jars were found in the ruins of a palace in the city of Nahariya in Northern Israel .

The 37 hectares of Tel Kabri have been under excavation since 1980, but the work is progressing slowly. Discovered this summer, archaeologists estimate these wine jars to be 3700 years old. They originate from a palace’s cellar dated back to 1700 BC and were swallowed up by an earthquake that also destroyed the palace.

This discovery gives us a peek into the winemaking techniques of that period, " we discovered that the wine was very refined , which was only implied in the ancient texts ," says Eric Cline, archaeologist at George Washington University . If the jars were empty, a chemical analysis discovered two key wine compounds: tartaric and syringic as well as old additives (honey, cinnamon , mint, cedar resin ... ) . According to Eric Cline " this is a great discovery, clearly the biggest and oldest wine cellar known to man".

[Source and Photo : Vitisphere]

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