Ancient people also enjoyed Santorini wine

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Posted by on 13 May 2006

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Professor of archaeology and head of the Akrotiri excavations, Christos Doumas while talking about the island's viticulture and wine production remarked about the presence of these practices in bygone eras. Santorini is famous for having produced local wine for centuries. Poliochni on the northeastern Aegean island of Lemnos has been famous for wine in amphorae from the 3rd millennium BC.

The amphorae had a tap just above the narrow base, demonstrating the sensitivity of the contents. The invention of the tap allowed sediment to be deposited on the narrow base of the amphora. Wine, naturally, is the liquid of choice for such containers a fact confirmed by the discovery of grape seeds at a coastal settlement at Aghios Cosmas, Attica and at Skarkos on the island of Ios.

A more obvious sign that viticulture was practiced in the Cyclades in the Early Bronze Age is the discovery of drinking glasses with vine leaf imprints on the base. In the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, a marble figurine holds one of these glasses raised in his hand, apparently toasting his companions health. Professor Doumas explained "Obviously the scene is ceremonial and its representation would make no sense unless the drink being consumed had some special significance".

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