Buried in a large Western Han Dynasty (202 B.C. to 8 B.C.) tomb in central China’s Henan Province, archaeologists have dug up a sealed bronze pot dating back to 2,000 years that contained some ancient wine. Reports did not detail how it had been sealed and kept from evaporating.
The team discovered about 3.5 liters (118 ounces) of clear yellow liquid in the pot which “smells like wine” said Shi Jiazhen, head of the Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology in the city of Luoyang, when they poured it out into a measuring jug m.
Rice and sorghum rice wine played an important role in ceremonies and sacrifice rituals at the time, he said. The liquid will be sent for further tests to reveal the true nature of the liquid, Shi added.
As well as wine, the 2,300-square-foot tomb yielded numerous clay pots painted with color and bronze artifacts. A lamp in the shape of a wild goose has also been found in the tomb, Shi said, along with human remains belonging to the tomb’s occupant.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time archaeologists have uncovered ancient rice wine in China. In March of this year, reports emerged that archaeologists have unearthed a bronze kettle containing liquor from an excavation site of commoners’ tombs.
The artifact was said to be a sacrificial vessel for the dead, dating back to 2,000 years between the late Warring States time period (475-221 B.C.) and the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.). It was just one among 260 items found from the graveyard. Most of the relics were for worshiping rituals.
Xu Weihong, a researcher at the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology (SPIA), said about 300 ml of rice wine was still intact in the bottle, which had its opening firmly sealed with natural fibers, guarding the liquid over the millennia.