Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture by Patrick E. McGovern

By Patrick E. McGovern

The heritage of civilization is, in lots of methods, the heritage of wine. This booklet is the 1st accomplished and updated account of the earliest phases of vinicultural heritage and prehistory, which extends again into the Neolithic interval and past. Elegantly written and richly illustrated, historical Wine opens up entire new chapters within the interesting tale of wine and the vine through drawing upon contemporary archaeological discoveries, molecular and DNA sleuthing, and the texts and artwork of long-forgotten peoples.

Patrick McGovern takes us on a private odyssey again to the beginnings of this consequential beverage whilst early hominids most likely loved a wild grape wine. We persist with the process human ingenuity in domesticating the Eurasian vine and studying tips on how to make and defend wine a few 7,000 years in the past. Early winemakers should have marveled on the possible outstanding means of fermentation. From luck to good fortune, viniculture stretched out its tentacles and entwined itself with one tradition after one other (whether Egyptian, Iranian, Israelite, or Greek) and laid the root for civilization itself. As medication, social lubricant, mind-altering substance, and hugely valued commodity, wine turned the point of interest of spiritual cults, pharmacopoeias, cuisines, economies, and society. As an evocative image of blood, it used to be utilized in temple ceremonies and occupies the center of the Eucharist. Kings celebrated their victories with wine and made convinced they had lots for the afterlife. (Among the colourful examples within the booklet is McGovern's well-known chemical reconstruction of the funerary feast--and combined beverage--of "King Midas.") a few peoples actually turned "wine cultures."

When we sip a tumbler of wine this day, we recapitulate this dynamic background during which a unmarried grape species was once harnessed to yield a virtually limitless variety of tastes and bouquets. historic Wine is a e-book that wine fans and archaeological sleuths alike will increase their glasses to.

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The word for wine (PIE *woi-no or *wei-no, the asterisk indi- 34 CHAPTER TWO cating a reconstructed form) is shared by a host of languages, IndoEuropean and non-Indo-European, ancient and modern. Our English word wine, for example, clearly derives from Latin vinum, which also accounts for Italian vino and French vin. Old Irish f´ın, German Wein, and Russian vino (along with other Slavic forms) appear to have a more ancient pedigree. When the dead languages of the ancient Near East are examined, one finds a remarkable cross-fertilization of the same PIE root.

There is no hidden bias lurking in a pottery sherd or a stone wall, as there might be in a written document. The archaeological artifact or ecofact (a term for a natural object, unmodified by humans, such as a grape seed or vine) is there because it played a role in the life of the community or was incorporated into the deposit by some other natural agency. It represents unintentional evidence that is contemporaneous with the events that one seeks to explain. A host of scientific methods—ranging from radiocarbon dating to high-resolution microscopy to DNA analysis—can now be used to extract the maximum amount of information from archaeological remains.

Wine is more than a social lubricant; it is a powerful symbol of Georgia’s very early adoption of Christianity. d. Wine is still made in time-honored ways in Rioni and Kakheti, the principal wine-producing areas of the country. A small-scale farmer will usually have several kwevris, each holding as much as 1500 liters, in a corner of a barn, buried up to their mouths and covered with a stone or wooden board. 1. Experimental viticultural station, Georgian Agricultural University, Tblisi (Georgia).

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