Science Daily: "Wine used in ritual ceremonies 5000 years ago in Georgia, the cradle of viticulture"

This 5,000-year-old wine vessel was discovered at the Aradetis Orgora archaeological site in Georgia. Photo from Science Daily., Jun 15, 2016, Tbilisi, Georgia

A unique discovery of 5,000-year old wine vessels used in rituals stakes Georgia's claim as the cradle of wine culture, says leading online science publication Science Daily.

The online magazine announced the recent discovery made at the Aradetis Orgora archaeological site, 100km west of capital Tbilisi, in a joint Georgian-Italian Shida Kartli Archaeological Project.

[An] expedition led by Elena Rova (Ca' Foscari University of Venice) and Iulon Gagoshidze (Georgian National Museum) has discovered traces of wine inside an animal-shaped ceramic vessel (circa 3,000 BC), probably used for cultic activities," announced the article.

Based on a report by the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, the story said the item was found along with another similar vessel "on the burnt floor of a large rectangular area with rounded corners, arguably a sort of shrine used for cultic activities".

Results of radiometric analyses confirm that the finds date to circa 3000-2900 BC Both zoomorphic vessels are an unicum in the region," added the review of the archaeological find.

Lead archaeologists involved in the discovery said wine was likely drawn from the vessel and either offered to gods or used for common consumption in the ceremony.

The jar was labelled a "key finding for Georgia" in the country's claim to be recognised as birthplace of winemaking.

Now the Georgian wine culture has been dated back to the Kura-Araxes period, more than 5,000 years ago and is still continuing," said the Science Daily news story.

The discovery was made by a team of young Georgian and Italian archaeologists within the joint project launched in 2013, and the story also cited the support of Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the scientific endeavour.

Read the full article here: