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Ancient DNA reveals commercial viticulture in Byzantine and Early Islamic settlements

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

From PHYS ORG (23/04/2023)

Ancient DNA reveals commercial viticulture in Byzantine and Early Islamic settlements

Researchers in Israel led by Tel Aviv University have uncovered commercial-scale viticulture in ancient Byzantine and Early Islamic settlements dated to the 4th to the 9th centuries. In a paper, "Ancient DNA from a lost Negev Highlands desert grape reveals a Late Antiquity wine lineage," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers link the ancient varieties to grapes grown in modern-day Greece and the southern Levant.

Excavations in the Negev Highlands of southern Israel found that the ancient cultivators could continuously produce a wide variety of grapes in an arid environment over centuries.


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