Could humans have been making wine during the Copper Age – more than 6,000 years ago?
Based on the findings of archaeologists in a cave in southern Armenia, near the border with Iran, the answer appears to be yes.
The recent find did not involve just a few vats or other containers that have been associated with viticulture through the centuries. This time, much more evidence was unearthed.
“This is, so far, the oldest relatively complete wine production facility, with its press, fermentation vats and storage jars in situ,” Hans Barnard told Discovery News. Barnard authored an article about the find for the Journal of Archaeological Science.
Residue found on the vats included a plant pigment that’s found only in pomegranates and grapes. There were no remnants of pomegranates found on the site, which led researchers to conclude that the vats once contained something made with grape juice. Given that, the presence of other artifacts led to the conclusion that the site had been used for making wine.
It’s presumed that the wine was used for ceremonial purposes.