1,800-Year-Old Ancient Roman Wine Press Unearthed

A 1,800-year-old wine press in an ancient Roman fortress has been unearthed by archaeologists in Georgia.

The press – still in remarkable condition – was reportedly found a few hundred metres from where a former garrison at the Gonio Fortress was, nine miles from the city of Batumi.

The fortress was built around 2,000 years ago and was once a key part of Roman defences in the region.

Archaeological excavations in the area have unearthed Roman barracks, glass items, coins, as well as remains of baths with water reservoirs along with cave dwellings, and huge bath mosaics.

Image shows the wine press remains, undated photo. A Polish-Georgian research team discovered a 1,800-year-old roman winepress in the Gonio settlement, in Georgia. (R. Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski/Newsflash)

Now the Polish-Georgian team of experts say the press was used to produce wine for Roman troops, before they finally abandoned the region around the 3rd century AD.

Dr Radoslaw Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw and team leader said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “From the point of view of the military regulations, this area should be clear.

“But people have always been interested in doing businesses.

“Therefore, brothels were built near this and other Roman camps, and, in this case, a winepress.”

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Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski added that the team discovered the press after 3D laser scanning (LiDAR) revealed anomalies in the terrain, thus indicating that it could contain certain archaeological remains.

He added: “It is worth noting that the winepress has structural features typical of the local winemaking tradition but hydraulic mortar characteristic of Roman constructions was used to seal the working surface and the must tank.

“The winepress is thus a testimony to the exchange of ideas on the border between the Roman Empire and the local Kingdom of Iberia.”

Image shows the Polish-Georgian research team during the excavations, undated photo. They discovered a 1,800-year-old roman winepress in the Gonio settlement, in Georgia. (R. Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski/Newsflash)

Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski said: “It had to be Kvevri wine we also know from today’s Georgia.

“The wine fermented in clay vessels buried below ground.

“It had a very different taste from the wine aged in barrels or steel tanks. The wine was earthy and sweet.”

The archaeologist also added that one of the two mosaics is still undergoing excavation procedures and said: “Due to the poor state of preservation, it was decided to cut off part of the mosaic from the ground and transfer it to the workshop of the local museum.

“The operation was successful and further conservation works will take place outside the excavation.”

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency:  Newsflash

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