Ancient wine factory unearthed in Iraq

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 26 Oct 2021

Archaeologists in Iraq revealed their discovery of a large wine factory from the rule of the Assyrian kings 2,700 years ago, along with stunning monumental rock-carved royal reliefs.

The stone bas-reliefs were cut into the walls of a nearly nine-kilometer-long irrigation canal at Faida in northern Iraq, the joint team from the Department of Antiquities in Dohuk and colleagues from Italy said.

The carvings - 12 panels measuring five meters wide and two metres tall showing gods, kings and sacred animals - date from the reigns of Sargon II (721-705 BC) and his son Sennacherib.

"There are other places with rock reliefs in Iraq ... but none are so huge and monumental as this," said Italian archaeologist Daniele Morandi Bonacossi.

At Khinis, near Dohuk, the team unearthed giant stone basins cut into white rock that were used in commercial wine-making during the reign of Sennacherib in the late eighth or early seventh century BC.

"We have found 14 installations that were used to press the grapes and extract the juice, which was then processed into wine," said Morandi Bonacossi, a professor at Italy's University of Udine.

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