DOHUK, Iraq, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Archaeologists have excavated the first, and what they believe is the oldest, industrial wine press in northern Mesopotamia dating back more than 2,700 years and coinciding with a sharp rise in wine demand among the ruling imperial elites of Assyria.
One of the world’s earliest empires, Assyria was located in the northern part of Mesopotamia – most of modern-day Iraq, as well as parts of Iran, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey.
“This is a quite unique archaeological finding, because it is the first time in northern Mesopotamia that archaeologists are able to identify a wine production area,” said Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, Professor of Near Eastern archaeology at the university of Udine and director of the Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Unearthed at the archaeological site of Khanis, near the northern Iraqi province of Dohuk, the discovery’s value lies partly in its historical context, Bonacossi added.
Assyrian scripture has previously pointed to an increased demand in wine, especially among members of court and the broader social elite. It was used in various ceremonial practices among the rich.
Archaeobotanical remains have also shown an expansion in vineyards in the area at that time.
<p data-testid="paragraph-6" class="Text__text___3eVx1j Text__dark-grey___AS2I_p Text__regular___Bh17t- Text__large___1i0u1F Body__base___25kqPt Body__large_body___3g04wK ArticleBody__…….