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The world’s oldest winery has been discovered by an Armenian, Irish, U.S. group. The caves, discovered in 2007, were found just the year before the 5,550 year old shoe was found.
The team found the cave near the Armenian border with Iran, close to a village that still produces wine. Radiocarbon analysis dated the find to between 4100BC and 4000BC. That is the Late Chalcolithic Period, known as the Copper Age.
Their findings included a rudimentary wine press, a clay vat surrounded by grape seeds, withered grape vines, the remains of pressed grapes as well as potsherd along with a cup and drinking bowl.
In an interview with the Associated Press Patrick McGovern an alcoholic beverage history expert and the scientific director of the Bimolecular Archaeology Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia said “The evidence argues convincingly for a wine-making facility.”
Speaking to News.am, the head of the archaeological team Boris Gasparyan said “We supposed that it was wine-making facility and repeatedly announced about it, but now we can voice it openly as the fact was proved by results of the studies conducted by 21 laboratories.”
Gasparyan said their discovery shows that wine-making was invented in the region. He said “We are lucky to have original source which enables to throw light on the issue. Meanwhile, it is ruled out that such winery can be discovered in other place as our studies show that grapes and other types of wild grapes were cultivated in this region,” he added.
Hans Barnard the lead author on the article about the find, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, said “This is, so far, the oldest relatively complete wine production facility, with its press, fermentation vats and storage jars in situ."
Gregory Areshian, co-director of the excavation and assistant director of the University of California Los Angeles's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology said “For the first time, we have a complete archaeological picture of wine production dating back 6,100 years”.
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