Posts Tagged ‘middle bronze age’

Wine Cellar Excavated May Be Worlds Oldest and Largest Ever Discovered

Archaeologists in Israel have excavated a palace that possibly has a personal wine cellar that may be considered the worlds oldest and also larger than any that have ever been discovered before. Numerous archaeological groups have been working on unearthing the Canaanite fortress of Tel Kabri since the late 1980’s.

The Middle Bronze Age palace, which was built during 1900 B.C. to 1600 B.C., covers a massive 200 acres in the northwestern region of modern-day Israel. The newest team of scientists claim that they found the palace’s wine cellar, and it is something that even the most magnificent of wine connoisseurs would be jealous of.

Archaeologist Andrew Koh told the media that what was so fascinating about the wine cellar besides its size was that it was part of a household economy. It was the owner’s private wine vault and the wine was never intended to be given away as part of any system of providing for the public. It was only for his personal enjoyment and the support of his power.

So basically, even though despite the details that it might have been the biggest and oldest wine cellar found to the present date in the Middle East, it was used strictly for private pleasure, and not for any commercial storing.

A research report recently printed up in the science journal PLoS ONE, explained how Dr. Koh and his team unearthed the huge room located just to the west of the palace’s central courtyard. It was full of gigantic, but slender necked vessels that were believed to have held the wine. Three of the over 40 jars discovered were carefully examined and researchers found trace amounts of tartaric acid, which is one of the key acids found in wine. They also discovered syringic acid, which is a mixture linked to red wine specifically, and remains from herbs, tree resign, and even honey – all various additives to wine.

Dr. Koh explained that if the wine was still intact, he and his team would have been able to taste a fairly refined drink. Someone was actually sitting there and the person had years if not generations of experience behind him saying that these items are what best preserves the wine and gives it a better taste. It is something amazing to think about when a modern day person actually takes the time to dwell on it.

He was asked about how much wine was really in the cellar. The wine vessels were entirely of uniform size and stored just under 530 gallons of alcohol, according to preliminary reports that were presented at the yearly meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research which occurred in November of 2013.

That would be the equal to around 3,000 modern day bottles of wine. Archaeologists in Israel dug up a palace that possibly has a personal wine cellar considerably greater than any wine vault that has ever been discovered before. Several different archaeological groups have been working on unearthing the Canaanite fortress since the late 1980’s.

By Kimberly Ruble


Science World Report

CBS News

Nature World News

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