While excavating two neolithic villages in the country of Georgia, archeologists discovered evidence that humans were making grape wine hundreds of years earlier than researchers previously believed.
In 1968, archeologists in northern Iran found six containers that dated back 7,000 years, containing traces of chemicals found in wine. Today, a new team working out of the South Caucasus region of Georgia found fragments of fired clay pots that analysis suggests are from 6,000-5,800 BC. Writing in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said that inside eight of the fragments, they found traces of tartaric acid, a substance found in grapes, and that soil samples turned up grape starch particles and the remains of a fruit fly. The clay pots are very narrow at the bottom, and researchers think they were likely partially buried during the winemaking process, which is something some winemakers still do in Georgia.
"The Georgians are absolutely ecstatic," archeologist and study co-author Stephen Batiuk of the University of Toronto told The Guardian. "They have been saying for years that they have a very long history of winemaking and so we're really cementing that position."