By Randolph E. Schmid
YEREVAN and LOS ANGELES (AP) — The earliest known winery has been uncovered in a cave in the mountains of Armenia.
A vat to press the grapes, fermentation jars and even a cup and drinking bowl dating to about 6,000 years ago were discovered in the cave complex by an international team of researchers.
While older evidence of wine drinking has been found, this is the earliest example of complete wine production, according to Gregory Areshian of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), co- director of the excavation.
The findings, announced Tuesday, January 11, by the National Geographic Society, are published in the online edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science.
“The evidence argues convincingly for a wine- making facility,” said Patrick McGovern, scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, who was not part of the research team.