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Study Suggests Wine Was Not Always Reserved for Celtic Elites

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

TÜBINGEN, GERMANY—Cosmos Magazine reports that traces of Mediterranean wine have been found in vessels recovered in different areas of the Heuneberg site, which dates to around 500 to 700 B.C. and is located in southwest Germany. Maxime Rageot of the University of Tübingen tested 126 ceramic vessels used by different social classes that had been made locally, and detected chemicals produced by fermented grapes in them. Dairy and millet were also detected in the same vessels, she added. Because no evidence of grape seeds or wine production from the period has been found in central Europe, the wine is thought to have been imported. Fermented beverages made from other plants and honey may have been produced locally, however. Rageot and her colleagues also tested seven goblets, beakers, bowls, jugs, and bottles imported from Greece at the end of the period, and noted that by this time, wine drinking appeared to have been restricted to the elites. The researchers suggest the Celts may have eventually adopted Mediterranean-style feasting practices in addition to Mediterranean wine. To read about the Celts' penchant for Mediterranean wine, go to "Tomb of a Highborn Celt," one of ARCHAEOLOGY's Top 10 Discoveries of 2015.

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