Behold: World's Oldest Wine Cellar

Archeologists find jars that predate the Bible in what is now Israel

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 23, 2013 10:41 AM CST

(Newser) – Archeologists have found what they think is the oldest wine cellar on record—a 3,700-year-old collection of jars in the ruins of ancient Canaanite place in modern Israel, reports Bloomberg. They found about 40 ceramic jars, broken and empty but with the unmistakable residue of wine. Chemical analysis revealed that they were of both the red and white variety, and the New York Times ticks off ingredients including honey, mint, cinnamon bark, and juniper berries. The jars would have held enough for about 3,000 bottles.

"It’s a wine cellar that, to our knowledge, is largely unmatched in its age and size," says a lead researcher from George Washington University. It was discovered in the long-gone city of Tel Kabri, which was destroyed in some calamitous event—perhaps an earthquake—about 3,600 years ago. “The wine cellar was located near a hall where banquets took place, a place where the Kabri elite and possibly foreign guests consumed goat meat and wine,” says an Israeli researcher on the project. Another dig is scheduled for 2015 to explore two doors leading out of the wine cellar, reports Discovery, meaning it's possible the wine cellar might be even bigger than thought.

This photo provided by George Washington University shows 3,700-year-old jars in the ruins of a recently discovered wine cellar near the modern town of Nahariya in northern Israel.   (AP Photo/George Washington University, Eric H. Cline)
George Washington alum Zach Dunseth removes dirt and debris from ancient wine jars.   (AP Photo/George Washington University, Eric H. Cline)
This photo provided by George Washington University shows the ruins of the wine cellar.   (AP Photo/George Washington University, Eric H. Cline)
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