Archeologists Discover World’s Oldest Wine in Ancient Tomb in Spain

A burial urn containing cremated human bones was discovered with an alcoholic beverage mixed in. The concoction had been stored in the urn for 2000 years.

It was discovered near Carmona in the southern province of Andalusia.

The urn’s contents were determined to be white wine, despite its opaque hue, due to the absence of polyphenols, which are present in red wine-making grape skins.

Scientists noted in their publication detailing the find that the liquid had characteristics with modern-day Fino wines made in the same area.

The discovery of liquid within the urns was a complete shock to archaeologist Juan Manuel Román, who co-authored the article about the wine in the Journal of Archaeological Science. Román and his colleagues had assumed the urns would contain bones and other grave goods when they were excavating the site.

Experts have determined that the ashes found in the wine likely belong to a man aged 45.

A dark reddish liquid was found in the urn, and a gold ring was also found within.

Some ancient Romans thought that drinking wine during a funeral helped the soul make the passage to the afterlife.

However, this wine has been preserved better than any other for the past two millennia, and the method of combining wine with additional ingredients is a relatively recent innovation.

In 2019, a family discovered the Roman burial site by accident while having house renovations done. There was another urn discovered, but this one was empty of wine.

The two glass urns in Carmona’s tomb illustrate the gender difference in Roman culture and burial customs; archaeologists have pointed out that women could not taste wine in ancient Rome.

Before the Roman wine in Spain was found, scientists had already determined that the world’s oldest bottle of wine was in a Roman tomb in Speyer, Germany.