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25 June, 2024
 
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5,000-year-old wine discovered in Queen's resting place

World's oldest wine jars found in Egypt's Royal Tomb

Source: Good News Network

Sealed jars of wine from 5,000 years ago have been uncovered amongst the grave goods found in an Egyptian Queen’s tomb.

The stash once belonging to Queen Meret-Neith in Abydos, from 3,000 BC, and is one of the oldest ever.

Researchers from the University of Vienna say she was the most powerful woman in the period and possibly the first female pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

Queen Meret-Neith was the only woman to have her own monumental tomb in Egypt’s first royal cemetery at Abydos.

Although her true identity remains a mystery the excavation revealed hundreds of jars of wine, some still sealed, buried with her.

Meret-Neith’s monumental tomb complex in the Abydos desert, which includes the tombs of 41 courtiers and servants in addition to her own burial chamber, was built of unbaked mud bricks, clay and wood.

In addition, inscriptions testify that Queen Meret-Neith was responsible for central government offices such as the treasury, which supports the idea of her special historical significance.

Archaeologist Professor Christiana Köhler from the University of Vienna said that a lot of the finds are undergoing analysis to reveal their secrets.

“The wine was no longer liquid and we can’t tell if it was red or white,” she said. “We found a lot of organic residue, grape seeds and crystals, possibly tartar and all of this is currently being scientifically analyzed.

“It is probably the second oldest direct evidence for wine, the oldest also comes from Abydos.

Thanks to careful excavation methods and various new archaeological technologies, the team was able to show that the tombs were built in several construction phases and over a relatively long period of time.

This observation, together with other evidence, radically challenges the idea of a ritual human sacrifice as part of the royal burial in the 1st Dynasty, which was often assumed in early research but never really proven.

“The new excavations bring to light exciting new information about this unique woman and her time.”

The team is working in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, the University of Vienna, and the Vienna University of Technology in Austria and Lund University in Sweden.

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Cyprus  |  history  |  Egypt  |  wine

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