Georgian Temple May Hold Key To Seedy Lineage of Wine


Wine goes way, way back in human history.
A team of archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an ancient temple and cellar in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi dating back to the first millennium BC, according to a story this past week on English-language site 
“An archaeological team from the Georgian National Museum uncovered the 2,000-year-old remains of a temple and a cellar of the Iberian Kingdom at the Treligorebi settlement on the top of a hill in Tbilisi,” the story said.
Interestingly, the researchers were able to dig up the historical gold mine with the help of images from imaging superpower Google Earth.
“The scientists believed the cellar was most likely part of the temple complex, which was found through aerial photography and Google Earth satellite images,” the story said.
The discovery of the temple and the cellar are important because they give scientists insight into the lineage of the qveri, a UNESCO designated piece of winemaking pottery which was and is an important player in Georgia’s  wine heritage. 
“A representative of the National Museum said this discovery was extremely important in terms of studying and reconstructing the history of the development of (the) Georgian qveri [clay jar] winemaking process,” the story said.
Even more interesting is the fact that investigators say they can use residue from the discovery in order to link together the lineage of grape seeds found in an earlier site with those found at the Treligorebi site. 
“Laboratory investigations of the residue from discovered qveri wine vessels may give us information about (the) possible genetic link between the earliest remains of grape seeds found in Kvemo Kartli (in the 6th millennium BC) and the grape residue from the recently discovered wine vessels at the Treligorebi settlement,” the article said, quoting a representative from the National Museum. 
According to the story, “archaeologists are trying to validate their find by conducting trial excavations at the site.”
The article also noted that the dig of the Treligorebi site in Tbilisi is being led by one Mikheil Abramishvili, “curator of the Tbilisi archaeological collections at the Georgian National Museum.” 
According to Georgian wine and spirits community Drink Georgian, the qveri containers were “porous barrels lined with beeswax and then buried for maceration, an organic process that results in low levels of sulphate.”

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