Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Gaza wine" seeds excavated

DISCOVERY: Byzantine-era seeds of ‘Gaza wine’ found in Negev. Handful of 1,500-year-old charred grape seeds could help scientists unlock secret of one of the finest ancient wines (Times of Israel).
A handful of 1,500-year-old charred grape seeds that were once used to make one of the world’s finest ancient wines was discovered in southern Israel recently, the Israel Antiquities Authority said this week.

They were found in the Negev city of Halutza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, during joint excavations by the University of Haifa and the IAA. The dig was conducted at an ancient garbage dump in the city, some 20 kilometers southwest of Beersheba.

There is hope that DNA analysis can resurrect this variety of grape vine and perhaps lead to the wine being recreated. For some parallel efforts to recreate ancient wines and beers, see here and links.