Beijing: It’s well-known that ancient Europeans loved drinking wine, but a recent discovery suggests that the ancient Chinese enjoyed the tipple just as much.
Archaeologists in China have found vintage wine thought to be more than 2,000 years old in a commoner’s tomb.
The liquid, measuring 300 milliliter, proves that ordinary people in the Qin Dynasty (221-207BC) enjoyed drinking alcohol, according to researchers.
The ancient alcohol was discovered inside a bronze vessel by archaeologists from the Archaeological Research Institute of Shaanxi Province.
From May, 2017, to January, 2018, researchers excavated a group of 56 ancient tombs for a new subway project in the Xixian New District in Shaanxi Province.
The bronze vessel was found during the process and is thought to date back to Qin Dynasty, the first power-centralised dynasty on the Chinese history.
Experts from the institute said the alcohol, now milky yellow, was a type of fermented alcoholic beverage.
The container, called Zhong, appeared similar to those that were normally used during a sacrifice ceremony in ancient China.
The institute called the discovery a ‘surprise’. Apparently, the alcohol survived until today because the container had been sealed well. The vessel was covered by tough sack cloth which was tied with plant vines.
Among the 56 ancient tombs that were excavated, 49 were thought to have been built between the Warring States Period (475-221BC) and the Qin Dynasty, one from the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) and six from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1914).
More than 260 relics were unearthed in all of the tombs. Apart from the vintage tipple, archaeologists discovered an ancient sword believed to be nearly 3,000 years old. The 60cm-long (23in-long) blade, found in another tomb, was sharp and appeared to be well worn.
More interestingly, archaeologists also found in a turtle shell in a smaller tomb. The shell, measuring 14cm (5.5in) long and 10cm (3.9in) wide, was believed to have been used by a local religious official for the purpose of divination.