Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine cellars in Egypt, and they have been important to further understanding their way of life. Even though there’s no wine left in them for anyone to taste, the cellars still gave researchers a glimpse into ancient partying ways. New discoveries like this could also help Egypt’s tourism industry come back to life.
Egypt is home to many ancient treasures, and people from all over the world want to see these amazing structures in person. However, due to the political turmoil in the country that’s been present since the Arab Spring, many tourists are wary of travelling to Egypt. Tourism was at an all-time low in between 2015 and 2016 due to the plane crash in the Sinai Peninsula. With the situation stabilizing, Egyptian authorities hope to revive tourism and ensure travellers that they will be safe. New discoveries can help attract tourists once again, as there’s new things to see.
The wine cellars date back to the Greco-Roman period in Egypt—the time when Egypt came under Alexander the Great’s empire. Excavations took place North of Cairo, in Tel Kom al Trogy. The area was known for producing fine wines, and now archaeologists know how they stored them. The cellars were made of mud bricks and had limestone blocks inside that helped control the temperature. While no ancient wine survived for researchers to analyze, the wine cellars helped us understand Egyptian trade and wine production.
This isn’t the first time an ancient wine cellar has excited archaeologists around the world. In 2018, the earliest winery was discovered in a cave in Armenia—dating back more than 6,000 years ago. While the Egyptian wine cellar is more recent, it’s still an amazing discovery; it allowed us to understand how Egyptians were able to trade wine without the temperature-controlling technology we have today.
Apparently, one thing we have in common with our ancestors is our love for wine. The cellar was built specifically to ensure that wine doesn’t go bad, and we still value our wines that much to this day. Vintage wine bottles can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and good cellars are essential to keeping these valuable bottles.