Did Roman soldiers use wine fridges?
Keeping wine cool isn’t just a modern day concern as archaeologists have discovered ancient Roman wine fridges with soldiers keen to keep their juice chilled.
According to Ars Technica, 2000 years ago ancient Roman soldiers situated along the Danube river used a built-in ceramic structure to store wine as well as other perishable items. Along with the wine fridge, the archaeologists also found a fourth century AD ceramic furnace, revealing a set of wine cups.
The publication reports it is the second such cooling Roman wine fridge to be found on the former fortress at the Novae archaeological site, which was set up in the first century AD, and helped to crush the Thracian uprising. It also served as a base for the 1st Italian Legion which was established by Emperor Nero.
Another Roman wine fridge was found last year, which was also made of ceramic and was likely to store food and possible drink. But the newly discovered fridge was chilled by a lead pipe running along one side that was connected to a network of aqueducts.
There were three aqueducts supplying water to the fortress, which gradually included a surrounding civilian settlement and buildings, eventually overlaying the fortress with a cathedral in the sixth century when it ceased to be a Roman outpost.
Archaeologist Piotr Dyczek from the University of Warsaw, who leads a team which has been examining the site for decades, said the information and fragments of wine-drinking vessels, bowls and animal bones will enable the team to re-create the last meal of the soldiers.
The archaeologist have also discovered mills for grinding grain, as well as fishing weights and coins dating back to Constantine’s reign in the fourth century.