I recently was in Georgia on a wine-tour in combination with EWBC. Now Georgia also poses lots of interesting archaeological finds and some of the oldest that can be connected to wine and wine producing.
Vine branches with silver framing, dated to ca 2-1st millennium B.C. found in Georgia
We visited the Georgian National Museums archaeological exhibit and also got to see some finds that as yet has not reached the exhibit. If you go to Georgia this is a museum not to miss, lots of nice and interesting finds that shows both relations to West Europe, the Middle East and Asia – there’s really no question that you are on the Silk road.
Most of these finds are found in graves and there are several fantastic gold and silver artifacts. The exhibition represent the history of Georgian gold smithery from the 3rd millennium B.C. To the 4th century A.D. So lets get ready for some archeo- artifact – pornography! The pictures are just a few the objects on display and a few in the end that are not on display as yet.
In November I’ll head for Turkey and the upcoming European wine bloggers conference (EWBC). Besides archaeology wine is my other other mistress – and sometimes the two twine together so it shall be in November.
The theme for the EWBC 2012, that will be held in Izmir, is source. Now source can be interpret in different ways but of those are source as in the source of wine and winemaking. If today’s Turkey is the original source of domestic vine cultivation and possibly winemaking is of less importance than the fact that it’s one of the first places where wine making was done. For this purpose I’m really looking forward to hearing one of this years speakers Dr. Patrick E. McGovern, the Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. The laboratory discovered the earliest chemically attested alcoholic beverage in the world (ca. 7000 B.C. from China), the earliest grape wine (ca. 5400 B.C.) and barley beer (ca. 3500 B.C.) from the Middle East etc etc.
But it won’t stop there during the conference I’ll also visit the ancient city of Ephesus, the House of Virgin Mary and the Ephesus Archaeological Museum. In Ephesus several excavations from the late has Roman period been made over the last decades.
But I’m not pleased with only visiting one country with traces of very early wine making – after Turkey I’ll continue on to Georgia. We’re will be able to taste the food, see the country and drink Qvevri wine. Qvevri wine or Amphora wine making is a tradition that has been preserved over thousands of years producing wines of unique character and style sometimes called orange wines. So besides the archaeology of wine and winemaking along side the great sites I’ll also get the chance that in some small way taste the taste of Wines Past.
Don’t you wish you were an archeological-wine-nerd like me?
And of course we’ll taste a lot of modern wines from Turkey as well as Georgia as well… but more about that on another blog :) and later on!