Friday, November 22, 2013

3,700 Year Old Vintage Wine Produced by the Caanites

When people talk of vintage wines they don’t often discuss vintage wine in the range of 3,700 years old. Of course the really good stuff is not available for everyone. Within an archeological dig of a Canaanite palace in Israel the expensive wine was kept separate from that discounted stuff for others. The ceramic jars appear to be left for special occasions. They did not find any wine review lists to go with them so researchers will need to investigate how sophisticated the wine making process was. 

What they did find was that it was likely mixed up with honey, mint, cedar, juniper berries and cinnamon bark. They also found psychotropic properties within the wine.  The psychotropic properties made the drinkers hallucinate. It was often used for parties and religious purposes to gain visionary abilities. 

 The 40 jars would hold about 13 gallons a piece and seemed to be in smaller quantities than that found else ware.  No other details have been presented on the wine making process other than it is possible this was the start of a sophisticated operation that spread to other Middle East countries. 

The excavation was run by Dr. Eric Cline a chair at the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civiliations at George Washing University, Assaf Yasure-Landau, chair of the Department of Maritime Civilizaiton at the University of Haifa, and Andrew Koh, an assistant professor of classical studies at Brandeis University. Each brought a unique skill to the dig site and used their expertise to understand what they were discovering. 

The city is called Tel Kabri which is an ancient city that dates back to 1,500 BC in the Canaanite areas. Most of the Canaanite people live in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine.  They have existed in the region from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age and were seen as merchants. It is possible that ancient Egyptians got their wine from them. They were loosely affiliated in walled cities but climate changes and incursion seems to have caused their fall. 

Other Reading:

Fox News

Science Daily


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