Saturday, November 12, 2011

Researchers discover oldest yet known remains of winery in Armenia

Archeologists from the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) recently uncovered an ancient wine-making facility in an Armenian cave that they say dates back roughly 6,000 years. The facility -- complete with wine press, fermentation vats, storage containers, utensils and even preserved grape seeds and other organic grape materials -- is now the oldest known wine press ever discovered.

The materials in the cave were uniquely well-preserved because a layer of sheep manure had fossilized the remains and protected them from mold, fungi and various other destructive forces that would have long since destroyed them. But thanks to the concrete-like layer of dung, researchers were able to catch a glimpse of ancient history in a new and unique way.

"Because of this unique preservation, we find all of these previously unknown but imagined organic materials," explained archeologist Gregory Areshian from UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archeology, and co-leader of the expedition, to the Los Angeles Times. Among these organic materials were withered grape vines, grape seeds and even preserved remnants of pressed grapes. Read more...

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