Archaeologists have uncovered the world’s oldest known wine press in southern Armenia. The wine press was found in a cave and is being dated to 4,000 B.C. — 6,000 years ago. In short, the wine press is so old that it predates even the rise of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
The archaeologists believe that the wine press produced a dry red vintage using some kind of foot-stomping method. They also speculate that the wine was a special vintage used in a burial ritual by a complex ancient society.
I think the key facts in the article suggest a different back story. Those key facts are (1) a cave, (2) wine, and (3) the world’s oldest discarded leather shoe, which also was found in the same cave. Do those facts sound to you like the ingredients of a burial ritual? Or, do those signs point to a secret drinking place where the lazy ne’er-do-wells of the tribe could escape to kick off their shoes, stomp a few grapes, guzzle homemade hooch, and enjoy some drunken hilarity with their buddies away from the tribal chief, the high priest, and angry spouses? To confirm this theory, the archaeologists need only start looking for dice, chicken bones, and signs of ancient graffiti in the vicinity.
The wine press may be 6,000 years old, but human beings really haven’t changed that much over the millennia.