Discovery of an ancient press in Akrotiri

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Posted by on 13 May 2006

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Analysis of findings dating back to 17 B.C. has revealed that viticulture was a well established institution on Akrotiri Santorini in the ancient times. Amphorae adorned with images of painted or embossed grapes have been discovered, raising speculation that grapes were indeed used as foodstuff and not just for the purposes of trade.

These findings deviate and vary from the finds on Lemnos, which date back to circa 3,000 BC. The amphorae found on Akrotiri display on its surface circles drawn around certain objects such as a cross, a disc or concentric circles. It is surmised that these were indicative of the kind of product contained within and the quality of the product. Such labeling is known to have been prevalent in Homeric times when wine was categorized according to ten objective fields- six for the taste buds and four for color and age.

Adding weight to the theory of wine production on Akrotiri, there is the discovery of an ancient wine press, akin to that found on Crete. A certain type of cylindrical container was also found during the excavation and following from descriptions of such containers found on ancient monuments in Crete, it bears testimony that viticulture did thrive in ancient Akrotiri.

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