Skip to comments.2,600-year-old Phoenician wine 'factory' unearthed in Lebanon
Posted on 09/20/2020 9:02:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Excavations at Tell el-Burak, about five miles south of the Lebanese coastal city of Sidon, have revealed the well-preserved remains of a wine press used from at least the seventh century B.C. It is the earliest wine press ever found in the Phoenician homelands, which roughly corresponded to modern Lebanon. The discovery is featured in a study published Monday in the journal Antiquity.
Large numbers of seeds show grapes were brought there from nearby vineyards and crushed by treading feet in a large basin of durable plaster that could hold about 1,200 gallons of raw juice...
The wine press was excavated along with four mudbrick houses at Tell el-Burak, part of a Phoenician settlement inhabited between the eighth and sixth centuries B.C. that was probably devoted to making wine for trading overseas, the researchers write...
The Phoenicians didn't invent wine -- evidence of it from about 8,000 years ago has been found in the country of Georgia -- but they spread winemaking throughout the ancient Mediterranean, along with olive oil and innovations such as the alphabet and glass...
The ancient seafarers introduced vineyards and wineries to their colony cities in North Africa, Sicily, France, and Spain. And they made it popular through trade with ancient Greece and Italy, where wine from wild grapes was known at the time but not so highly developed, says University of Toronto archaeologist Stephen Batiuk, who was not involved in the research.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalgeographic.com ...
An artist's reconstruction of the wine press at Tell el-Burak, looking from the southeast.
It would take me hundreds of years to drink it all.
They also invented dinner and a movie.
This one only holds 1200 gallons of the juice, which to some could be a slow weekend. :^)
Only hundreds of years, you say?
Okay, maybe 1200 years
"Oh look, it's a moving picture!"
Might take considerably longer as you get to those boxed wines and $3 bottles...
Too many pop ups to read it.
Nasty toenail fungus and feet that have walked through dung doesn’t give the wine a fruity flavor.
Around this same time frame, there were at least three different types of mechanical presses to obtain olive oil, but the only way they could press grapes was to have people stamp them with their nasty, crusty feet?
Your illustration shows the occupation of president Stompy Foot’s ancestors. ‘Tis a wonder they could put one foot in front of the other consistently...
OH, Memories of an old I LOVE LUCY episode comes to mind!
BEAT me to it!
Was that a good year?
Sensible-looking little facility.
Maybe the business owner didn’t want to make the capital investment. They’ve excavated a mechanical grape-pressing facility in Pompeii, I believe, from a few hundred years later, but Romans got a lot of processes going on a larger scale than was being done in the Levant.
“It would take me hundreds of years to drink it all.”
Probably more than that just from the Phoenician wines. Greek and Roman wines likely had as high as 15% or 20% ABV, compared with 10-12% or so in most modern wines. In general when you’re brewing anything, getting much above 10-15 % ABV requires specialty yeasts or concentration techniques, and getting above 18 % and close to 20 % is very difficult. But they did it on a regular basis. You would be spending a lot of time hung over and sick from it. Those percentages could produce alcohol poisoning real easy.
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