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The Areni-1 winery is a 6100-year-old
winery A winery is a building or property that produces , or a business involved in the production of wine, such as a . Some wine companies own many wineries. Besides wine making equipment, larger wineries may also feature s, s, , and large expanses of ...

winery
that was discovered in 2007 in the
Areni-1 cave complex The Areni-1 cave complex ( hy, Արենիի քարանձավ) is a multicomponent site, and late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age ritual site and settlement, located near the Areni village in southern Armenia along the Arpa River. Findings In 2008 ...
in the village of
Areni Areni ( hy, Արենի) is a village and the center of the Areni Municipality of the Vayots Dzor Province in Armenia. Areni is best known for its wine production, with the majority of wine produced locally from the nearby village of Getap, Vayots D ...

Areni
in the
Vayots Dzor Vayots Dzor ( hy, Վայոց Ձոր, ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative ...

Vayots Dzor
province of
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...

Armenia
by a team of Armenian and Irish archaeologists. The excavations were carried out by Boris Gasparyan of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the
National Academy of Sciences of Armenia The National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (NAS RA) ( hy, Հայաստանի Հանրապետության գիտությունների ազգային ակադեմիա, ՀՀ ԳԱԱ, ''Hayastani Hanrapetut’yan gitut’yunneri azg ...
and Ron Pinhasi from
University College Cork University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC) ( ga, Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh) is a constituent university of the National University of Ireland, and located in Cork. The university was founded in 1845 as one of ...

University College Cork
(Ireland), and were sponsored by the Gfoeller Foundation (USA) and University College Cork. In 2008 the
University of California, Los Angeles The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA’s academic roots were established in 1882 as a teachers college then known ...
(UCLA) also joined the project with Gregory Areshian as co-director of the Areni Project. Since then the excavations have been sponsored by UCLA and the
National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within ...
as well. The excavations of the winery were completed in 2010. The winery consists of
fermentation Fermentation is a metabolism, metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic Substrate (chemistry), substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in ...
vats
vats
, a
wine press up16th century winepress A winepress is a device used to extract juice from crushed grapes A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry (botany), berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus ''Vitis''. Grapes can be eaten fres ...

wine press
, storage jars, pottery sherds, and is believed to be at least a thousand years older than the winery unearthed in the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlock A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to ...
in 1963, which is the second oldest currently known.Maugh II, Thomas H.
Ancient winery found in Armenia
" ''
Los Angeles Times The ''Los Angeles Times'' (abbreviated as ''LA Times'') is a Newspaper#Daily, daily newspaper based in El Segundo, California, which has been published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It has the List of newspapers in the United States, ...

Los Angeles Times
''. January 11, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
Santini, Jean-Louis.
Scientists find 'oldest ever' winery in Armenia
" ''
Agence France Press Agence France-Presse (AFP) is an international news agency A news agency is an organization that gathers news reports and sells them to subscribing news organizations, such as newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical ...
''. January 11, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
Owen, James.
Earliest Known Winery Found in Armenian Cave
" ''
National Geographic ''National Geographic'' (formerly the ''National Geographic Magazine'', sometimes branded as NAT GEO) is an American monthly magazine published by the National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Was ...
''. January 10, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
The
Areni-1 shoe The Areni-1 shoe is a 5,500-year-old leather Leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skins. The most common raw material is cattle hide. It can be produced at manufacturing scales ranging from art ...
was found in the same cave in 2008.


Discovery

Excavations at the Areni-1 site began in 2007 and continued until September 2010. Armenian, American and Irish archaeologists fully unearthed a large, well-preserved vat, along with a basin made of clay and covered with
malvidin Malvidin is an O-methylated anthocyanidin, the 3',5'-methoxy derivative of delphinidin. As a primary plant pigment, its glycosides are highly abundant in nature. Natural occurrences Malvidin is responsible for the blue color found in petals of ...

malvidin
. In addition to these discoveries, grape seeds, remains of pressed grapes, prunes, walnuts, and desiccated vines were found. A number of drinking cups, found next to a set of ancient graves, were also excavated, suggesting that the site was used for funeral ceremonies and ritualistic practices. The cave was abandoned after its roof caved in, and the organic material was preserved thanks to sheep , which prevented
fungi A fungus (plural: fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as ...

fungi
from destroying the remains. The team's full findings will be published in future.


Analysis

The results of the biochemical analysis of the residues from the bottom of the wine-press and the storage jars carried out by Hans Barnard and his colleagues at UCLA were published in the ''Journal of Archaeological Science'' in January 2011.Barnard, Hans et al.
Chemical evidence for wine production around 4000 BCE in the Late Chalcolithic Near Eastern highlands
" ''Journal of Archaeological Science'', (2010),
Botanical analysis and
radiocarbon Carbon-14 (14C), or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope A radionuclide (radioactive nuclide, radioisotope or radioactive isotope) is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry ...
tests carried out by researchers at the
University of California, Irvine The University of California, Irvine (UCI or UC Irvine) is a Public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Irvine, California. One of the ten campuses of the University of California system, UCI offers 87 under ...
and
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London, southeast of Birmingham, and northeast of Bristol. The city is home to the Unive ...

Oxford University
have revealed the date of the Areni-1 winery to around 4100 BC and 4000 BC or the Late Chalcolithic Period. According to Areshian, the vintners used their feet to press the wine in the clay basin, the juice of which would then drain into the vat, where it would remain to
ferment Fermentation is a metabolism, metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic Substrate (chemistry), substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in ...
until being stored in jars. The capacity of the vat has been estimated to be about 14–15 gallons.. According to Areshian, the discovery of the winery has provided greater insight to the study of
horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs, as well as or ...
. Patrick E. McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the
University of Pennsylvania Museum The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology—commonly known as the Penn Museum—is an archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Ar ...
, has likewise emphasized the importance of the discovery, describing it as "important and unique, because it indicates large-scale wine production, which would imply, I think, that the grape had already been domesticated." The exact identity of the people who lived in the region at the time is not known, although some researchers have postulated that they may have belonged to the Kura-Araxes people and added that they may have been very involved in trade.


See also

*
Gregory Areshian Gregory Areshian (13 May 1949 – 2 August 2020) was an Armenian-American archeologist and historian who was a professor at American University of Armenia. He was the co-director of the international team of archeologists who, led by Boris Gaspary ...

Gregory Areshian
*
Areni-1 shoe The Areni-1 shoe is a 5,500-year-old leather Leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skins. The most common raw material is cattle hide. It can be produced at manufacturing scales ranging from art ...
*
History of wine Wine has been produced for thousands of years, with evidence of ancient wine production in Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country located at ...
* * Andin. Armenian Journey Chronicles


Notes


Bibliography

* Areshian G, et al. "The Chalcolithic of the Near East and South-Eastern Europe: Discoveries and New Perspectives from the Cave Complex Areni-1, Armenia," ''Antiquity'' 86 (2012):115–130.


External links

The oldest winery and shoe
{{Prehistoric technology, state=uncollapsed Chalcolithic sites of Asia Archaeological artifacts 2007 archaeological discoveries Archaeological sites in Armenia * Areni History of wine