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The oldest wine ever discovered in liquid form was found in an untouched Roman tomb

The oldest wine ever discovered in liquid form was found in an untouched Roman tomb

Daniel Cusano/Juan Manuel Roman/Dolores Esquivel/Fernando Lafuente/Jose Rafael Ruiz Arribola

The liquid was white wine similar to vino wines produced in the same region today.

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CNN

It is 2000 years old Romanian A funerary urn discovered in southern Spain has been shown to contain the oldest wine ever found still in liquid form.

The contents of the jar were discovered during the renovation of a house in Carmona in 2019, and a team of scientists from the University of Cordoba analyzed the contents of the jar in a study published on Monday.

The urn was found to contain cremated remains, burnt ivory believed to come from a funeral pyre, and about 4.5 liters (1.2 gallons) of reddish liquid, the study’s lead author, Jose Rafael Ruiz Arribola, a professor of organic chemistry at the university, told CNN.

Daniel Cusano/Juan Manuel Roman/Dolores Esquivel/Fernando Lafuente/Jose Rafael Ruiz Arribola

The shrine containing the urn was found during renovation of the house.

“When the archaeologists opened the jar, we almost froze,” he said. “It was very surprising.”

The team then conducted a chemical analysis of the liquid and found that it was wine.

Ruiz Arribola said this was a big surprise, because wine usually evaporates quickly and is chemically unstable.

“This means it is almost impossible to find what we found,” he said, explaining that the wine was kept in an airtight seal that prevented it from evaporating, but it is not clear how the seal was formed.

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Daniel Cusano/Juan Manuel Roman/Dolores Esquivel/Fernando Lafuente/Jose Rafael Ruiz Arribola

The jar containing the wine was one of six funerary urns found in the shrine.

Ruiz Arribola said additional chemical analysis allowed the team to identify the liquid as white wine, because it does not contain syringic acid, a substance found only in red wine.

He added that it also has a mineral salt composition similar to the vino wines produced today in the region.

“It’s something unique,” ​​Ruiz Arribola said. “We were lucky to find it and analyze it – it’s something you only see once in your life.”

The researchers believe their discovery topples the current record for the oldest wine in a liquid state, a Speyer bottle, found in Germany, which is thought to be around 1,700 years old. However, the age of the Speyer bottle has not been confirmed by chemical analysis.

The bowl was one of six funerary urns containing remains found in the shrine.

Ruiz Arribola said the discovery of a golden ring and other valuable artifacts indicates that it was built by a family with great wealth.

However, little is known about their lives, because cremation would have destroyed any DNA, he said, adding that this meant it was impossible to determine if the six people were related to each other.

Ruiz Arribola now plans to try to find out Contemporary local wines were largely similar, although there were hundreds to work from.

The study was published in Journal of Archaeological Sciences: Reports.