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Ancient Wine Unearthed

Photograph: Eric H Cline/AP

Archaeologists have uncovered a 3,700-year-old wine cellar in the ruins of a Canaanite palace in Israel, and chemical analysis has revealed the sophistication of the period’s wine-making techniques.

Samples from the ceramic jars suggest they held a luxurious beverage evidently reserved for banquets, researchers said.

“It’s not wine that somebody is just going to come home from a hard day and kick back and drink,” said Andrew Koh of Brandeis University. He found signs of a blend of ingredients that may have included honey, mint, cedar, tree resins and cinnamon bark.

The discovery confirms how sophisticated wines were at that time, something previously suggested only by ancient texts, said Eric Cline of George Washington University. He, Koh and Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa in Israel spoke to reporters on Thursday before their work was presented on Friday at a meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

UNCORK THE FULL STORY   The Guardian

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