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Offbeat World's earliest evidence of wine-making found in Georgia

08:05  14 november  2017
08:05  14 november  2017 Source:   afp.com

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The world ' s earliest evidence of grape wine - making has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia , making the tradition almost 1,000 years Before, the oldest chemical evidence of wine in the Near East dated to 5,400-5,000 BC (about 7,000 years ago) and was from the Zagros

(National Museum of Georgia via AP). MIAMI, Florida, United States (AFP) — The world ’ s earliest evidence of grape wine - making has been detected in 8,000-year-old Before, the oldest chemical evidence of wine in the Near East dated to 5,400-5,000 BCE (about 7,000 years ago) and was from

Pottery fragments from 8,000-year-old jars like this one -- which were unearthed near the Georgian capital, Tbilisi -- are the earliest evidence of wine-making in the Near East, bringing the tradition back almost 1,000 years earlier than thought, researchers say© Provided by AFP Pottery fragments from 8,000-year-old jars like this one -- which were unearthed near the Georgian capital, Tbilisi -- are the earliest evidence of wine-making in the Near East, bringing the tradition back almost 1,000 years earlier than thought, researchers say The world's earliest evidence of grape wine-making has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia, making the tradition almost 1,000 years older than previously thought, researchers said Monday.

Before, the oldest chemical evidence of wine in the Near East dated to 5,400-5,000 BC (about 7,000 years ago) and was from the Zagros Mountains of Iran, said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a peer-reviewed US journal.

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The world ' s earliest evidence of grape wine - making has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia , making the tradition almost 1,000

The worlds earliest evidence of grape wine - making has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia , making the tradition almost Before, the oldest chemical evidence of wine in the Near East dated to 5,400-5,000 BC (about 7,000 years ago) and was from the Zagros Mountains

The world's very first wine is thought to have been made from rice in China around 9,000 years ago, followed by the grape-based alcohol in Iran.

"We believe this is the oldest example of the domestication of a wild-growing Eurasian grapevine solely for the production of wine," said co-author Stephen Batiuk, a senior research associate at the University of Toronto.

Scientists on the team came from the United States, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Israel and Georgia. They have been working for the past four years to re-analyze archeological sites that were found decades ago.

The fragments of ceramic casks, some decorated with grape motifs and able to hold up to 80 gallons (300 liters), were found at two archeological sites called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

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MIAMI - The world ' s earliest evidence of grape wine - making has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia , making the tradition almost 1,000 years older than previously thought, researchers said Monday. Before, the oldest chemical evidence of wine in the Near East

The world ' s earliest evidence of grape wine - making has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia , making the tradition almost Researchers also found three associated organic acids -- malic, succinic and citric -- in the residue from the eight jars. This "discovery dates the origin

Researchers used a combination of the latest mass spectrometry and chromatography techniques to identify the ancient compounds.

Georgia made 'world's oldest wine'

  Georgia made 'world's oldest wine' Pottery found near Tbilisi shows wine-making was taking place 8,000 years ago, scientists say.The earthenware jars containing residual wine compounds were found in two sites south of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, researchers said.

The world ' s earliest evidence of grape wine - making has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia , making the tradition almost 1,000 years older than previously thought, researchers said Monday.

Scientific analysis of 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia offers the world ' s earliest evidence of grape wine - making , dating the tradition almost 1,000 years earlier than previously thought, researchers said Monday.

This chemical analysis "confirmed tartaric acid, the fingerprint compound for grape and wine," said the PNAS report.

Researchers also found three associated organic acids -- malic, succinic and citric -- in the residue from the eight jars.

This "discovery dates the origin of the practice to the Neolithic period around 6,000 BC, pushing it back 600-1,000 years from the previously accepted date," according to the study.

'Social lubricant'

The Neolithic period began around 15,200 BC in parts of the Middle East and ended between 4,500 and 2,000 BC.

During this era, the latter part of which coincided with the Stone Age, people were beginning to farm, domesticate animals, make polished stone tools, crafts and weaving, researchers said.

"Pottery, which was ideal for processing, serving and storing fermented beverages, was invented in this period together with many advances in art, technology and cuisine," said Batiuk.

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

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Previously, the earliest evidence of grape wine - making had been found in the Zagros Mountains of Iran and dated to 5,400-5,000 BC. In 2011, a wine press and fermentation jars from about 6,000 years ago were found in a cave in Armenia. The world ' s earliest non-grape based wine is believe to

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People in Georgia cultivated the Eurasian grapevine, Vitis vinifera, which likely grew abundantly under environmental conditions similar to modern-day France and Italy.

Batiuk said the domestication of the grape "eventually led to the emergence of a wine culture in the region."

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

But this might not be the last word, according to lead author Patrick McGovern, scientific director of the biomolecular archeology project for cuisine, fermented beverages, and health at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia.

McGovern, who co-authored the 1996 Nature study that placed the earliest evidence for grape wine in Iran, said the search for the truly oldest artifacts will continue.

"Other sites in the South Caucasus in Armenia and Azerbaijan might eventually produce even earlier evidence for viniculture than Georgia," McGovern said.

"The Taurus Mountains of eastern Turkey are also a prime candidate for further exploration with its monumental sites at Gobekli Tepe and Nevali Cori at the headwaters of the Tigris River," dating as far back as 9,500 BC.

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