Wine press that quenched Assyrians’ mighty thirst unearthed

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Wine press that quenched Assyrians’ mighty thirst unearthed

The press and archaeobotanical remains dating back 2,700 years were discovered in northern Iraq

Kawa Omar

Archaeologists have excavated the first, and what they believe is the oldest, industrial wine press in northern Mesopotamia. It dates back more than 2,700 years and coincides with a sharp rise in wine demand among the ruling imperial elites of Assyria.

One of the world’s earliest empires, Assyria was located in the northern part of Mesopotamia, most of modern-day Iraq, as well as parts of Iran, Kuwait, Syria and Turkey.

“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,” said Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, professor of near eastern archaeology at the University of Udine and director of the Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project in the Kurdistan region of Iraq...

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