2011-01-30
EARLIEST KNOWN WINERY FOUND IN ARMENIA
The worlds earliest known wine-making facility has been discovered in Armenia, archaeologists say. The facility was uncovered in the mountains of Vayots Dzor, the south-eastern part of Armenia. The same area was the site of the discovery of the oldest known leather shoe, dated to about 5,500 years ago.

Inside the cave, the international team of archaeologists found a shallow basin that was positioned to drain into a deep vat. The basin could have served as a wine press where people stomped the grapes with their feet.

The team also found grape seeds, the remains of pressed grapes and dozens of dried vines.

   Photograph courtesy Gregory Areshian

"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, Associated Press news agency reported. He said such large-scale wine production implied that the Eurasian grape had already been domesticated 6,000 years ago.

The earliest comparable remains to those uncovered in Armenia were found in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian King Scorpion I, dating to around 5,100 years ago, AP reported.

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