Scientists reveal the secrets of ancient Roman winemaking

Scientists reveal the secrets of ancient Roman winemaking ...

A new survey claims that ancient Romans probably used local grapes and out-sourcedtar pitches while making wine.

Three different wine jars, oramphorae, discovered off the coast near theSan Felice Circeo harbor in Italy, dating back to 1 to 2 BCE, have been investigated by a group of researchers from Italy and France.

The findings included other ceramics and artifacts, not just wine bottles, but also made the archaeologists believe that the region was near a Roman canal.

In ancient Rome, making wine was an integral part of the trade.

Science Alert reports that scientists combined the most current chemical analysis techniques with diverse approaches inarchaeobotany to uncover new insights that would otherwise be impossible with traditional methods.

Researchers used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify and sort out chemical markers in jars. The researchers also examined the organic residue left in the ancient knowledge. The scientists concluded that jars were used to make red wine based on local sources.

Pine was also discovered inside the jars, and it is thought to have been used to waterproof the jars and enhance the wine's flavor. However, pine could have come from other areas such asCalabria or Sicily.

Researchers claim that by combining different approaches to investigate the content and nature of the Roman amphorae's coating layer, we have pushed the conclusion further in the understanding of ancient practices than it would have been with a single approach.

Pine tar acts as a water-proof agent.

This is not the first time ancient Romans explored a particular technique that still has applications today in the modern world. Back then, scientists discovered pine tar as a water-proof agent to preserve wine in amphorae. Today, mariners use pine tar as a wood sealant to protect the integrity of the piece in question with water-proof properties.

Through a multidisciplinary research, we investigate the pitch used for coating three Roman amphorae from San Felice Circeo (Italy). We also investigate the use of aromatic compounds that cannot be supported by traditional analytical methods. We discuss the possibility of the use of autochthonous grapes in the wine industry.

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