Georgian Jars Hold 8000-Year-Old Winemaking Clues

Ceramic pottery fragments from two sites about 30 miles south of the Georgian capital Tbilisi contained residues that yielded chemical signatures of grapes and wine

Ceramic pottery fragments from two sites about 30 miles south of the Georgian capital Tbilisi contained residues that yielded chemical signatures of grapes and wine

Ceramic pottery fragments from two sites about 30 miles south of the Georgian capital Tbilisi contained residues that yielded chemical signatures of grapes and wine.

The finding is "very significant" because it gives new evidence that the origins of winemaking should be sought in the region, said Gregory Areshian, an archaeology professor at the American University of Armenia who did not participate in the work. Researchers now say the practice began hundreds of years earlier in the South Caucasus region on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Until now, the oldest wine-making evidence had come from pottery from the Zagros Mountains in northwestern Iran dating to 5400-5000 BC.

In a paper published today in the journal PNAS, an global team of archaeologists has conclusively shown what all those grapes were for.

The excavated sites contained the remains of two Neolithic villages at Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora.

"We believe this is the oldest example of the domestication of a wild-growing Eurasian grapevine exclusively for the production of wine", study co-researcher Stephen Batiuk, a senior research associate in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and the Archaeology Centre at the University of Toronto, said in a statement.

"Wine is central to civilisation as we know it in the West".

While analyzing the chemical residue on shards from eight large jars, the scientists found tartaric acid, a fingerprint compound of grapes and wine.

It's not the oldest sign of winemaking; other evidence shows that a beverage that mixed grape wine with rice beer and other ingredients was produced as long as 9,000 years ago in China.

The Neolithic period is characterized by activities that include the beginning of farming, domesticating animals and developing crafts such as pottery and weaving, and the early evidence of winemaking demonstrates further "human ingenuity" at the time, Batiuk said.

Because they didn't find many grape seeds or stems preserved in the village's soil, archaeologists think the wine was made in the nearby hills, close to where the grapes were grown.

Combined with the grape decorations on the outside of the jars, ample grape pollen in the site's fine soil, and radiocarbon dates from 5,800 B.C.to 6,000 B.C., the chemical analysis indicates the people at Gadachrili Gora were the world's earliest winemakers. "The horticultural potential of the south Caucasus was bound to lead to the domestication of many new and different species, and innovative "secondary" products were bound to emerge". It grew under ideal environmental conditions in early Neolithic times, similar to premium wine-producing regions in Italy and southern France today.

"Our research suggests that one of the primary adaptations of the Neolithic way of life as it spread to Caucasia was viniculture", Batiuk said.

It's no surprise that once ancient farmers domesticated the grape, wine culture followed, Batiuk added.

For the Neolithic Georgians, the drinking and offering of wine would have permeated almost every aspect of life from medical practice to special celebrations, Dr Batiuk added.

'As a medicine, social lubricant, mind-altering substance, and highly-valued commodity, wine became the focus of religious cults, pharmacopoeias, cuisines, economics, and society throughout the ancient Near East, ' said Dr Batiuk.

"The infinite range of flavours and aromas of today's 8,000-10,000 grape varieties are the end result of the domesticated Eurasian grapevine being transplanted and crossed with wild grapevines elsewhere over and over again", he said.

'The Eurasian grapevine that now accounts for 99.9 per cent of wine made in the world today, has its roots in Caucasia'.

The research was funded largely by the National Wine Agency of Georgia and the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia.

Notícias recomendadas

  • Borussia Dortmund Reportedly Interested in Signing Emre Can

    Borussia Dortmund Reportedly Interested in Signing Emre Can

    Furthermore, Can's agent, Reza Fazeli, represents Dortmund coach Peter Bosz as well as midfielders Mahmoud Dahoud and Nuri Sahin. Can is into the final year of his current deal and looks unlikely to sign a new contract with the Merseyside outfit.
    Moto Tab outed by AT&T as a family-oriented device

    Moto Tab outed by AT&T as a family-oriented device

    The performance of the handset is driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, mated to Adreno 508 graphics. The handset sips the power required to run from a 3,000mAh battery , which supports TurboCharge technology.

    Drexel Hamilton Raises Target Price On Cabot Oil & Gas Corp (COG)

    Icon Advisers Inc/co says it increased its position in Cabot Oil & Gas Corp shares by 11.1% as of the end of the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP raised its position in shares of Unit Corporation by 77.5% during the first quarter.
  • JP Morgan Chase & Co Increases BB&T Corporation (BBT) Price Target to $49.00

    Over the last five days, shares have faced -6.88% losses and now is up 1.11% since hitting its 200-day moving average of $45.44. Of the analysts who provided ratings, 16 rated the company a Hold, 1 rated it a Moderate Sell, and 4 rated it a Strong Buy.
    Body found at nightclub owner's rural property

    Body found at nightclub owner's rural property

    In October a year ago , Mr Thornton's ex-wife's home in affluent Port Melbourne was shot at in the early hours of the morning. There are reports the dead man is Melbourne nightclub entrepreneur Darren Thornburgh, but this is yet to be confirmed.
    49ers: Game grades vs. the Giants

    49ers: Game grades vs. the Giants

    There have been a lot of depressing aspects of the National Football League season, but the 2017 Giants might be the saddest. The team seems to have hit rock bottom several times this season and there are still seven games left.
  • Toulouse : bientôt du foie gras, sans gavage !

    Toulouse : bientôt du foie gras, sans gavage !

    Ces premiers foies gras sans gavage seront orientés vers le marché du luxe, les grands restaurants notamment. La France est le premier pays producteur de foie gras, d'où il en sort 20 000 tonnes chaque année.
    US Supreme Court to consider Minnesota law barring political clothing at polls

    US Supreme Court to consider Minnesota law barring political clothing at polls

    The centers, operated by groups that oppose abortion rights, have argued that the law violates their First Amendment rights. The alliance sued several Twin Cities election officials and Secretary of State Steve Simon.
    Register for Honor 7X on Amazon and win exciting prizes

    Register for Honor 7X on Amazon and win exciting prizes

    It comes with very thin bezels at the sides and sports a 5.93-inch full HD+ (1080x2160) display with 18:9 aspect ratio. However, the offer terms and conditions page reveals some important dates which hint at Honor 7X sale date.
  • Magnitude 2.7 quake  strikes near Gonzales, California

    Magnitude 2.7 quake strikes near Gonzales, California

    The quake hit at 12:38 PM local time at a depth of 3 kilometers. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Even people in San Francisco said they felt the quake.
    Commerzbank Ag Reiterates €103.00 Price Target for Merck KGaA (MRK)

    Commerzbank Ag Reiterates €103.00 Price Target for Merck KGaA (MRK)

    Considering that the stock daily volume of 16.74 million shares, this represents a pretty noteworthy trading in volume size. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks' consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08.
    Air Force error allows Texas church shooter to buy guns

    Air Force error allows Texas church shooter to buy guns

    Willeford said he loaded a magazine in his rifle and ran across the street without even taking the time to put on his shoes. Judy Green says Kelley was "completely distant and way out in thought".

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.