Tag Archives: wine

The oldest known grape wine, from Iran

So far, the oldest known evidence of grape wine is about 7,000 years old, from a Neolithic settlement in Iran’s Zagros mountains, Hajji Firuz Tepe. Link, byMark Berkowitz.


A  7,000 years old potsherd  came from one of six two-and-one-half-gallon jars came from the kitchen area of a mud-brick building in Hajji Firuz Tepe, a Neolithic village in Iran’s northern Zagros Mountains. A team from the University of Pennsylvania Museum found calcium salt from tartaric acid, which occurs naturally in large amounts only in grapes. Resin from the terebinth tree was also present, presumably used as a preservative, indicating that the wine was deliberately made and did not result from the unintentional fermentation of grape juice. It also suggests that the wine makers weren’t beginners, as adding preservative is something that will take time to figure out

Analysis of the Hajji Firuz Tepe sherd comes in the wake of two other recent discoveries of early wine-making in this region where grapes grow in the wild. Residue from a jar from Godin Tepe, in the nearby middle Zagros Mountains, was dated to 5,100 years ago, until now the earliest evidence of wine-making. Grape presses dating to the late third millennium B.C. have been found at Titris Höyük in southeastern Turkey.

I wonder… would drinking alcohol have been a survival advantage? The liquid would be sterile. Historically even children drank  ‘small beer’ ( a very weak beer) in England because it was safer.