3,000-year-old wine unearthed in China
|A bronze wine vessel from the West Zhou Dynasty|
According to Jun, the discovery of the liquid was made when the vessel – one of six found in the tomb – was shaken.
However, the cover of the vessel remains tightly shut, and with no appropriate tools to open it at the excavation site, the liquid inside has yet to be identified.
“Wine became a symbol of corruption during the Shang Dynasty (1600BC-1046BC) as officials drank to excess.
“This lead to the emergence of prohibition devices during the succeeding Zhou dynasty, which were put on the table to remind people to drink in moderation,” Jun said
A 95cm-long “prohibition device” was unearthed with the vessels in the tomb, the first of its kind found in Baoji.
Excavation work is still underway at the site, with more bronze devices expected to be discovered in the next few days.
The Shang dynasty’s decline is sometimes attributed to its rulers’ heavy drinking habits.
Ancient wine isn’t unknown in China, which boasts one of the oldest wine traditions in the world.
Residue of wine over 9,000 years old has been found in ancient Chinese vessels.
In a 2004 BBC report, archaeo-chemist Patrick McGovern reported the liquid was composed of “rice, honey and fruit.”
The second oldest evidence of wine, dating back 7,000 years, hails from Iran.
Author: Lucy Shaw | Source: The Drinks Business [July 09, 2012]