Artifacts found in Shanxi rewrite China’s wine-production history

(chinadaily.com.cn)

The Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology released its latest research on the cultural relics unearthed at the Beibai'e Cemetery site in Yuanqu county in Shanxi province on March 15, confirming that the ancient items are related to fruit wine.

The institute carried out rescue excavations at the cemetery site last April to December, discovering liquid residue in the copper pots unearthed at the site.

After scientific analysis of the liquid residue in the copper kettle and the soil samples from the bottom of the vessel, the archaeologists confirmed that the fluid dregs are the remains of an ancient fruit wine.

Currently, ancient wine produced before the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) in China is generally considered to belong to the grain wine category. It is believed that wine made from fruit was introduced from the western regions during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).

The materials unearthed at Beibai'e Cemetery have filled the gap in pre-Qin Dynasty fruit wine research for the first time. The discovery has provided important information and context for the study of politics, etiquette, culture, funeral customs and wine-making techniques in the society at that time.

The vessels found in Yuanqu county also provide important scientific data for studying the development of China's wine-production technology and the growth of the wine industry in ancient times.