Oldest Wine Cellar Discovered

Man those Canaanites knew how to party. This past summer, while digging at the ruins of a 1700 B.C. Canaanite Palace, archaeologists struck a wine cellar next to the banquet hall. The researchers, in what is now northern Israel, found a storage room containing what was left of 40 large ceramic jars. And while the wine was long gone, residues contained traces of common components of wine (specific acids) as well as ingredients (honey, mint, and cinnamon) used in ancient winemaking. The site, known as Tel Kabri, would have held roughly 3,000 bottles of red and white wines, and is one of the oldest and largest ever found. “It’s a wine cellar that, to our knowledge, is largely unmatched in its age and size,” said Eric H. Cline, a co-director of the Tel Kabri excavations.