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Ancient Greek Ships Carried More Than Just Wine
Nature ^ | Friday, October 14, 2011 | Jo Marchant

Posted on 10/16/2011 7:46:09 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

A DNA analysis of ancient storage jars suggests that Greek sailors traded a wide range of foods -- not just wine, as many historians have assumed. The study, in press at the Journal of Archaeological Science1, finds evidence in nine jars taken from Mediterranean shipwrecks of vegetables, herbs and nuts. The researchers say DNA testing of underwater artefacts from different time periods could help to reveal how such complex markets developed across the Mediterranean.

Archaeologist Brendan Foley of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts and geneticist Maria Hansson of Lund University, Sweden, retrieved DNA from nine amphorae -- the storage containers of the ancient world -- from sunken ships dating from the fifth to the third centuries BC.

The researchers found grape DNA -- as would be expected for containers of wine -- in only five of the nine jars, and olive DNA, possibly from olive oil, in six of them. Other 'hits' included DNA from legumes, ginger, walnut and juniper and from herbs such as mint, thyme and oregano.

Amphorae have been found in their thousands in wrecks all over the Mediterranean Sea. Some of them contain residues of food, such as olive pits and fish bones, but the vast majority of them are discovered empty and unmarked.

Foley says historians tend to assume that these containers were used mainly to transport wine -- in a survey of 27 peer-reviewed studies describing 5,860 amphorae, he found that 95% of the jars were described as having carried the beverage.

(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: amphorae; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; navigation
Researchers were able to retrieve DNA from ancient Greek amphorae and use it to determine what the jars once held. Theotokis Theodoulou

Ancient Greek Ships Carried More Than Just Wine

1 posted on 10/16/2011 7:46:13 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


2 posted on 10/16/2011 7:47:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Captain obvious....?
It actually takes a scholarly study to discern that a cargo ship will carry more than one type of cargo. Ridiculous.


3 posted on 10/16/2011 8:26:01 PM PDT by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Duh! Of course they did...EVERYBODY knows THAT! What good is it to have wine, without women and song?

The Trireme Boatmen's Song: "Row, row, row your boat swiftly across the sea...."

4 posted on 10/16/2011 8:39:26 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch ("Public service" does NOT mean servicing the people, like a bull among heifers.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Why would anyone ever assume they only traded wine?


5 posted on 10/16/2011 8:43:28 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: SunkenCiv

All of the unmarked empties probably had beer in them.


6 posted on 10/16/2011 9:06:26 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: GeronL

Because our entire school of academic thought has become locked into progressive history due to collectivist influences. God forbid man was ever even remotely as sophisticated as today.


7 posted on 10/16/2011 9:24:11 PM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: Free Vulcan

Amazingly enough the Greek economy did not entirely depend on one single product. Who woulda thunk it, besides sane people?

Wine is a derivative of at least one other product, grapes, so there would be at least 2 right there. lol


8 posted on 10/16/2011 9:28:58 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: SunkenCiv

Since much of the cargo carried on ancient Greek ships were stored in ceramic amphora vases that could be sealed, that’s why not only did the Greeks export wine, but a long, long list of other agricultural goods such as dried fruit and olive oil.


9 posted on 10/16/2011 9:30:57 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: smokingfrog

Maybe the ships carried empty amphorae because in those days the Greeks had to bail themselves out.


10 posted on 10/16/2011 9:35:53 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: hellbender

Cruel. But verrry funny.

11 posted on 10/16/2011 10:06:41 PM PDT by Ken H (They are running out of other people's money. )
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To: SunkenCiv

>>> Greek sailors traded a wide range of foods — not just wine, as many historians have assumed.

What historians ever assumed that? It’s always been known the ships cargoes included grain, fruit, lumber, metals, etc.


12 posted on 10/16/2011 11:17:29 PM PDT by tlb
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To: lefty-lie-spy; ApplegateRanch; GeronL; smokingfrog; Free Vulcan; RayChuang88; hellbender; Ken H; ...

There varied cargoes have been known about, but the use of amphorae to transport wine (and nothing else) *may* have been thought by someone sometime. The writer of the article already got the degree and he’s got being graded. :’)

The amphorae were nice and cheap to make, and over great distances, they might not be re-used. A hill next to the site of ancient Carthage was believed to be either part of the town (a “tell”) or a natural feature, and turned out to be a trash pile made up primarily of discarded amphorae. :’)


13 posted on 10/17/2011 1:47:56 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Thanks for the clarification. I’ve heard about amphorae tras heap before.


14 posted on 10/17/2011 2:45:42 AM PDT by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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To: lefty-lie-spy

I have always suspected that early ships traded in more than just wine. Consider Proverbs 31:

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.”

I never imagined that this was about a wife keeping her husband drunk on imported wine. I assume this is about the wife’s role in meeting the family’s domestic and nutritional needs including a broad range of foods, a role that was even in 1000 BC supported by the sea trade in the Med.


15 posted on 10/17/2011 5:03:03 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: SunkenCiv

Well... you know there had to be yogurt. I keep seeing the commercials for the Greek yogurt.


16 posted on 10/17/2011 5:39:20 AM PDT by Winstons Julia (when liberals rant, it's called free speech; when conservatives vent, it's called hate speech.)
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To: SunkenCiv
...not just wine, as many historians have assumed...

This strikes me as being and incredibly stupid assumption.

17 posted on 10/17/2011 6:46:14 AM PDT by GingisK
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To: GingisK
I find this amusing. Trade means I got something you want and will TRADE for something I want, no brainer.
18 posted on 10/17/2011 9:42:51 AM PDT by Little Bill (Sorry)
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To: GingisK; SunkenCiv
...not just wine, as many historians have assumed... This strikes me as being and incredibly stupid assumption.

One of the most common (and most valuable) commodities transported in amphorae, especially by the Romans, was 'garum' (fermented fish sauce). They ate it on darn near everything.

19 posted on 10/17/2011 9:44:10 AM PDT by tarheelswamprat
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To: SunkenCiv

Right. I’ve heard they think some of the ancient civilizations might have used these one-time ships to move large stones for monuments.


20 posted on 10/17/2011 3:31:04 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: GeronL

;”) I’ve heard that too — wait, that was me that said it... :’)


21 posted on 10/17/2011 5:46:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Winstons Julia

;’)


22 posted on 10/17/2011 5:48:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: tarheelswamprat

The brand marks of one of the family-run brands of it have been found on jar fragments alll over the former Empire. :’)


23 posted on 10/17/2011 5:49:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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