The first evidence of white wine has been found in Egypt

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The first evidence of white wine has been found in Egypt

Beitragvon Steve Lenz » 08.06.2006 21:42

Incredible Find in King Tut's Tomb

The first evidence of white wine has been found in Egypt--in the tomb of King Tutankhamen, which was sealed in 1322 B.C. What makes this discovery particularly remarkable is the color of the wine.

USA Today reports that wine drinking was relatively common among the Egyptian royal family and the upper classes. It was also thought to be an essential necessity for a good afterlife, which explains why it was found in the tomb. But this is the first time archaeologists have found white wine. Until now, all the dried remnants of wine found inside clay amphora in tombs have been red.

Red wine had a special meaning when it was placed in a tomb, symbolizing the rebirth of the dead and the blood of the god Osiris. Naturally, there was red wine in King Tut's tomb. Lead study author Maria Rosa Guasch-Jane of Spain's University of Barcelona said that previously there were two amphorae in his tomb that yielded traces of red wines, which was called "irp" to the ancient Egyptians. One of these contained the high-quality "shedeh" wine.

The wine amphorae--26 in all--found in King Tut's tomb are among the many elaborate grave goods unearthed in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter. Of these, 12 were intact even though the seals had been broken. Each one contained information about the wine inside, including the name, year, vineyard and vintner--but not the color.

The Spanish team examined the containers, which are kept at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and found six more that contain dried remnants of wine. Using an intensive chemical analysis, they looked for two markers of red wine: tartaric acid and syringic acid. Of the remaining six jars, five contained white wine, reports USA Today. "This may indicate that white wine was highly valued in Egypt since only the best products were offered for the afterlife of the Pharaoh," the authors wrote in the study, which was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Interestingly, the first reference to white wine in Egypt comes more than a thousand years later by the Greek Athenaeus, who lived from 170 to 230 AD and praised wine from a region near Alexandria as white, pleasant, fragrant and "not likely to go to the head," among other qualities, notes USA Today.

(Quelle: Netscape News)
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Steve Lenz
 
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