DOHUK, Iraq, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Archaeologists have excavated the primary, and what they imagine is the oldest, industrial wine press in northern Mesopotamia courting again greater than 2,700 years and coinciding with a pointy rise in wine demand among the many ruling imperial elites of Assyria.
One of many world’s earliest empires, Assyria was positioned within the northern a part of Mesopotamia – most of modern-day Iraq, in addition to components of Iran, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey.
“This can be a fairly distinctive archaeological discovering, as a result of it’s the first time in northern Mesopotamia that archaeologists are capable of determine a wine manufacturing space,” mentioned Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, Professor of Close to Jap archaeology on the college of Udine and director of the Land of Nineveh Archaeological Mission within the Kurdistan Area of Iraq.
Unearthed on the archaeological web site of Khanis, close to the northern Iraqi province of Dohuk, the invention’s worth lies partly in its historic context, Bonacossi added.
Assyrian scripture has beforehand pointed to an elevated demand in wine, particularly amongst members of court docket and the broader social elite. It was utilized in varied ceremonial practices among the many wealthy.
Archaeobotanical stays have additionally proven an growth in vineyards within the space at the moment.
“Within the late Assyrian interval, between the eighth and the seventh century BC, there was a dramatic enhance … in wine demand and in wine manufacturing,” mentioned Bonacossi. “The imperial Assyrian court docket requested for increasingly more wine.”
The invention contains 14 installations carved into mountain rocks. The higher, square-shaped basins had been utilized by folks to press grapes underfoot, extracting the juice which ran off into the decrease round basins.
The grape juice was then collected in jars, fermented and bought on a big scale.
The positioning was found by a bunch of Italian archaeologists from the college of Udine in cooperation with antiquities authorities in Dohuk.
The groups are engaged on including the traditional construction to the UNESCO world heritage listing.
Extra reporting and writing by Nadeen Ebrahim