Oldest Industrial Wine Press Unearthed in Northern Iraq

A historic bridge in Dohuk, where the oldest industrial wine press has been excavated. 

© Shutterstock

oldest-wine-press

A historic bridge in Dohuk, where the oldest industrial wine press has been excavated. 

© Shutterstock

Archaeologists have excavated the first, and probably the oldest, industrial wine press in northern Mesopotamia dating back more than 2,700 years. "This is a quite unique archaeological finding, because it is the first time in northern Mesopotamia that archaeologists are able to identify a wine production area," Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, Professor of Near Eastern archaeology at the University of Udine told Reuters.

The discovery at the archaeological site of Khanis, near Dohuk in northern Iraq, includes 14 installations carved into mountain rocks. Reuters reported the upper, square-shaped basins were used to press grapes underfoot, extracting the juice which ran off into the lower round basins.

Last month archeologists in Israel discovered the world's largest known Byzantine-era winery. Five presses, four large warehouses for aging wine, kilns to fire wine jugs, and tens of thousands of broken jug pieces were unearthed at Yavne, south of Tel Aviv. The 1,500 year old complex is estimated to have produced around two million litres of wine a year.

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