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
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)

(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.

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Nov 24, 2013 2:26 PM CST
It was some 3700 years ago in a Canaanite palace, roughly in the time that the Bible says Abraham emigrated with his clan into the land. Wine is used at every Jewish holiday including the Friday night sabbath meal. Indeed a glass of wine is considered heart-healthy, so why did some in the Church seem to make somehow un-Christian to imbibe? I suspect that it may have been because drinking alcohol and indeed drunkeness was so common in northern Europe especially due to the cold climate, that perhaps some in the Church tried to curb alcoholism by implying that it was un-Christian. Just a theory.
Ezekiel 25:17
Nov 24, 2013 12:40 AM CST
This might be able to clear up a life long argument I've had with my mom. See, she's from a strict teetotal family. I mean absolutely NO alcohol. I guess its why Niquil used to put me away for a day. So my argument is when Jesus supplied wine to the wedding party because the had ran out. See mom, Jesus was a bartender. Of course she replies, "Whhhell, it was not the same wine as today, today's wine is much stronger." Then I point out where Jesus did not make a low grade inferior plonk, he made a superior top shelf wine, the best for the best. Then she says, well you are not supposed to get drunk with wine. I then reply nobody's asking for that, but a single glass at Hilton's managers reception isn't going to hurt you. So, maybe they can test the wine and compare the molecular structure to today's wine. Its now a moot point though. I now take high potency resveratrol pills which has the benefit of hundreds of bottles of wine. But I do still enjoy the receptions so I would like to believe our wine is essentially the same.
Nov 23, 2013 4:25 PM CST
I'm sure Pat or Brian will explain how this was the very place where the 'last supper' was held. After all, we're talking about science here and biblical proof is biblical proof.