2,000-year-old liquor discovered in West China
( 2003-06-22 09:50) (Agencies)
Aged wines don't get much older than this. Archaeologists in western China
discovered five earthenware jars of 2,000-year-old rice wine in an ancient tomb,
and its bouquet was still strong enough to perk up the nose, Xinhua News Agency
The report said 1.3 gallons of the almost clear, blue-tinged liquor was
found, enough to allow researchers their best opportunity yet to study ancient
Archaeologist Sun Fuzhi was quoted saying the tomb dated from the early
Western Han dynasty, which held sway over much of the Chinese mainland between
206 B.C. and 25 A.D. Liquor from the period has been found in other tombs but
never as well preserved, he said.
Liquor made from rice or sorghum grains was a major part of ceremonies and
ritual sacrifices in ancient China, with elaborate bronze cups and decanters
cast specifically for its use.
Several drinking vessels, along with bronze bells, more than 100 jade pieces
and part of a human skull were found in the tomb, which Sun said probably
belonged to a member of the Han nobility.