Close Menu

World’s oldest cellar unearthed in Israel

Scientists have unearthed a 3,700-year-old wine cellar thought to be the oldest in the world amid the ruins of a Canaanite palace in Israel.

The cellar, containing 40 ceramic jars each large enough to house 13 gallons, was discovered in palace ruins near the town of Nahariya in northern Israel.

According to AP, a chemical analysis of samples from ceramic jars found at the site has shed light on the sophistication of the winemaking techniques of the time.

All of the jars were unmarked and of a similar design, implying that they were made by the same potter.

Researches, who analysed residues from the jars, believe they contained sweet wine reserved for banquets.

Andrew Koh of Brandeis University found signs of a blend of ingredients that may have included honey, mint, cedar, tree resins, juniper berries and cinnamon bark.

Koh, Eric Cline of George Washington University and Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa in Israel presented the findings last week at a meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania, an expert in ancient winemaking, told AP that the discovery “sheds important new light” on winemaking in ancient Canaan, with Canaanite winemaking techniques later spreading to Egypt and across the Mediterranean.

Curtis Runnels, an archaeologist at Boston University, said the finding was significant in illustrating the avant-garde winemaking techniques used at the time.

“The chemical analysis found that each jar held wine from the same recipe, showing the consistency and control you’d expect in a palace,” he said.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No