Ancient Wine by Patrick E. McGovern
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Ancient Wine
By Patrick E. McGovern

Ancient Wine

The Search for the Origins of Viniculture Revised edition

By (author) See other recent books by Patrick E. McGovern
Foreword by Robert G. Mondavi See other recent books by Robert G. Mondavi
Format: Paperback

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Ancient Wine by Patrick E. McGovern

Book Awards

  • Runner-up for AAP/Professional and Scholarly Publishing Awards: Geology and Earth Science 2003.

Book Description

The history of civilization is, in many ways, the history of wine. This book is the first comprehensive and up-to-date account of the earliest stages of vinicultural history and prehistory, which extends back into the Neolithic period and beyond. Elegantly written and richly illustrated, Ancient Wine opens up whole new chapters in the fascinating story of wine and the vine by drawing upon recent archaeological discoveries, molecular and DNA sleuthing, and the texts and art of long-forgotten peoples. Patrick McGovern takes us on a personal odyssey back to the beginnings of this consequential beverage when early hominids probably enjoyed a wild grape wine. We follow the course of human ingenuity in domesticating the Eurasian vine and learning how to make and preserve wine some 7,000 years ago. Early winemakers must have marveled at the seemingly miraculous process of fermentation. From success to success, viniculture stretched out its tentacles and entwined itself with one culture after another (whether Egyptian, Iranian, Israelite, or Greek) and laid the foundation for civilization itself. As medicine, social lubricant, mind-altering substance, and highly valued commodity, wine became the focus of religious cults, pharmacopoeias, cuisines, economies, and society. As an evocative symbol of blood, it was used in temple ceremonies and occupies the heart of the Eucharist. Kings celebrated their victories with wine and made certain that they had plenty for the afterlife. (Among the colorful examples in the book is McGovern's famous chemical reconstruction of the funerary feast--and mixed beverage--of "King Midas.") Some peoples truly became "wine cultures." When we sip a glass of wine today, we recapitulate this dynamic history in which a single grape species was harnessed to yield an almost infinite range of tastes and bouquets. Ancient Wine is a book that wine lovers and archaeological sleuths alike will raise their glasses to.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691127842
ISBN-10: 0691127840
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Pages: 392
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 2-Jan-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Patrick E. McGovern

Uncorking the Past by Patrick E. McGovern Uncorking the Past, Paperback (December 2010)

Tells the compelling story of humanity's ingenious, intoxicating quest for the perfect drink. This title offers information on what we know about how humans created and enjoyed fermented beverages across cultures. It also explores a provocative hypothesis about the integral role such libations have played in human evolution.

Origins and Ancient History of Wine by Patrick E. McGovern Origins and Ancient History of Wine, Paperback (January 1997)

Presents contemporary evidence scientific, archaeological, botanical, textual, and historical for major revisions in our understanding of winemaking in antiquity. This book covers such topics as the domestication of the Vinifera grape, the iconography of ancient wine, and the analytical and archaeological challenges posed by ancient wines.

» View all books by Patrick E. McGovern


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Author Biography - Patrick E. McGovern

Patrick E. McGovern is a Senior Research Scientist in the Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology (MASCA) and is Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. The author or editor of eight other books on archaeology and archaeological science, over the past two decades he has pioneered the emerging field of biomolecular archaeology.

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