Link: Sicilian wine from the Copper Age retrieved from deep in geothermal caves

The Conversation has a nice article by Davide Tanasi reviewing recent work uncovering historic secrets locked away by sulfuric cave fumes in Sicily: “Prehistoric wine discovered in inaccessible caves forces a rethink of ancient Sicilian culture”.

It’s pretty neat. Deep in an unexpected area they found jars and jars of ancient offerings, including wine.

Initially I did not fully grasp the import of such a discovery. It was only when I vetted the scientific literature on alcoholic beverages in prehistory that I realized the Monte Kronio samples represented the oldest wine known so far for Europe and the Mediterranean region. An incredible surprise, considering that the Southern Anatolia and Transcaucasian region were traditionally believed to be the cradle of grape domestication and early viticulture. At the end of 2017, research similar to ours using Neolithic ceramic samples from Georgia pushed back the discovery of trace of pure grape wine even further, to 6,000-5,800 B.C.

This sounds like a magical archaeological context.