FINDINGS IN ERIMI VILLAGE, THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE EUROPEAN WINE

EXCAVATIONS OF ERIMI VILLAGE HELD IN 1933 BY PORFYRIOS DIKAIOS © DEPARTMENT OF ANTIQUITIES OF CYPRUS - CYPRUS WINE MUSEUM ARCHIVE
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FINDINGS IN ERIMI VILLAGE, THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE EUROPEAN WINE

Archaeologists in 1933 had excavated a settlement from the Chalcolithic Period with round houses. There were many objects found in these round houses. The most important fragments of pottery belonged to 18 pointed base flasks.

The archaeologist on duty was late Porfyrios Dikaios, father of Cypriot archaeology, who quickly realized that these were of significant archaeological importance. Due to lack of laboratories in our museums and because the equipment he was using was basic, he couldn’t answer three important questions about the shape, the use and the content of the flasks. Since he wasn’t able to give answers to these questions he did something which proved invaluable to Cyprus and The Cyprus Wine Museum later on.

He secured all fragments still unwashed in large wooden boxes and stored them in the basement of the archaeological museum of Lemesos, hoping that they would not be discovered until technology had advanced and the items would be able to be correctly tested and the questions answered. As he had hoped the pieces were not tested until April 2005, and the findings were of great importance.

The testing was performed by the team of Dr. Maria Rosaria Belgiorno – Archaeologist – ITABC-CNR, Roma – Italy and Dr. Alessandro Lentini – Palaeontologist – ITABC-CNR, Roma – Italy. They took samples of the original residues and analysed them under the kind assistance and hospitality given in the laboratory of the Cyprus Archaeological Museum in Nicosia by Dr Pavlos Flourentzos Director of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus.

The shape of the vases indicated the chronology to be around 3500 BC. The analyses done on the deposit remains at the bottom of the jars proved the presence of a large amount of tartaric acid, which is the characteristic acid of wine.

From this evidence it can be deduced that wine has been produced on the island of Cyprus for over 5500 years, making Cyprus the home of the oldest wine in Europe.

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