Areni wine-making industry 6 thousand years old
“If this is a wine-press, so we have really had a wine-making industry”,-informed Aysor.am Boris Gasparyan, the co-leader of the archaeological team from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of RA.
In the cave of Areni Birds, in Vayots Dzor Marz, during the excavations 50 liters clay jars, pitchers, samples of crockery, vines were found, which entitled the scholars to suppose that there was an industrial area of wine production there.
According to the results of the examinations made in Oxford laboratory, the vine found in the cave dated to the end of the 5 century and beginning of the 4 century.
“The results of the examination made in Oxford laboratory are out of doubt”, said Boris Gasparyan.
The Armenian small caves of volcanic origin, which are spread along the feet of Aragats, in the gorges of Qasakh and Hrazdan, are well-examined.
And the caves, which originate in case of the limestone structure of the massifs, now are being examined. The caves in Areni are suchlike and are of a great archaeological value.
Since 2007 joint excavations are being held by the archaeologists of Ireland, California, Great Britain and Armenia.
“The substances found in the caves mostly refer to Eneolith period, the end of the 5th century and the mid of the 4th century (4.100-4.200), i.e. 3 500 years, so we have the Middle Ages substances. Last year we found pieces of manuscripts in Armenian and Persian. Also we have some buildings and hearths of the Middle Ages”, - told Boris Gaspatyan.
In the niches of the caves the organic substances are well preserved, here the microclimate is not changing much in winter and summer. The caves in Areni are not exceptions.
The archaeologist reminded about the Armenian tale of Anahit and Vachagan where the whole craftsmanship was held in the cave, and this was not groundless and had a historical basis.
In the economy, the monument of Areni had an important role, and the caves served as places for living, cult worshiping and household activities.
In the caves in Areni the skulls of young girls were found, which pointed to the fructification ritual funerals.
Also the bones of goat and sheep were found. As montioned Boris Gasparyan the goats were mostly bred for milk
and wool, and sheep were bred for meat and wool.
The archeologists dug to 4 meters and there the stratum of cultural activities of the Copper Stone Age ended, and the sediments of Pleistocene period started.
“This little surface does not let us dig deeper and we could not widen the hall not to damage the nearby clay constructions”,-mentioned Boris Gaspartan.
These archeological samples now are in different laboratories of the world. The archeologists are looking forward to the results, and the excavations of the caves in Areni are still going on.
“One of the key achievements of the project implemented with UNDP/GEF support is the inclusion and support of extra-curricular environmental education as a strategic approach. This was a direct result of the series of roundtables jointly organized with EEN members and policymakers,” adds Sahakyan.