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9000 Year Old Wines Unearthed in Henan Province

Updated: 10 Mar 2007
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Scientists reported a number of interesting discoveries of old wines in the past decade, before they found and determined the 9,000-year-old wine at the Jiahu ruins, Central China‘s Henan Province.

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The Archaeological Institute of America in 1996 reported researchers celebrating the finding of the remains of 7,000-year-old wine in six vessels unearthed at the site of a Neolithic village in Iran. Each jar could hold about 9 litres.
 

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They were unearthed in 1976 in what the scientists believed to be the kitchen area of a mud-brick building in Hajji Firuz Tepe, a village of the new Stone age era in the northern Zagros mountains.

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Patrick E. McGovern and his team from the University of Pennsylvania Museum applied infrared spectrometry, liquid chromatography and chemical tests to analyze the residue from the jars.

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They identified calcium salt from tartaric acid, which they said develops naturally in large amounts only in grapes, and issued as a pointer for the presence of identifying wine in ancient residues.
 

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The researchers also found resin from the terebinth tree in the residue, a compound used as a preservative. McGovern and his colleagues believed the wine did not result from the accidental fermentation of grape juice but had been made intentionally.

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The Zagros Mountain area has grapes growing wild and McGovern and his colleagues also analyzed residue from a jar unearthed in Godin Tepe, in the middle Zagros mountains near the Hajji Firuz Tepe site. They concluded that the residue came from wine dating back some 5,100 years.

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Despite the discoveries of earliest wines, many researchers believe that ancient Egyptians were arguably the earliest to record in detail a wine-making process. From wine jars unearthed in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to 2,600 BC, researchers found the jars bore labels clarifying the product, year, source and name of the vine grower.

 

SOURCE: CHINA.ORG.CN

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