China News Service, Yiwu, September 8 (Zhang Bin, Tong Xiaoyu, Dong Yixin, Gong Shuhong) The reporter learned on the 8th that researchers analyzed the pottery unearthed at the Qiaotou site of Shangshan Culture in Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province, and found direct evidence of ancient people making wine.

  Researchers concluded that 9,000 years ago, the ancestors of southern China had begun to brew a kind of koji (qu) wine, whose main raw material was rice, coix and other tuber plants and other additional plant raw materials.

At that time, the ancients had consciously selected and cultivated beneficial fermentative flora, mixed moldy grains with plant stems and leaves to make koji, so that saccharification and fermentation were carried out at the same time, and the koji wine was brewed after further storage.

Overlooking the Qiaotou ruins.

Photo courtesy of Jiang Leping

  The above research conclusions were published in the American "PLOS ONE" (PLOS ONE) magazine, entitled "Early evidence for beer drinking in a 9000-year-old southern China" ("Early evidence for beer drinking in a 9000-year-old" platform mound in southern China”).

The authors of the study are Assistant Professor Wang Jiajing of Dartmouth University, and researcher Jiang Leping and Dr. Sun Hanlong of Zhejiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.

  As one of the authors and the leader of the archaeological team at the Shangshan site, Jiang Leping explained in an interview with a reporter from that although the research topic uses "beer" to express the wine made by ancient people, it cannot be simply understood as modern " beer".

  "The definition of'beer' in modern Chinese is generally'beer'. As far as the results of this research are concerned, the residues in the unearthed pottery are the same as the residues of grain fermentation, and should be understood as'grain wine', that is, the starch in the raw material is saccharified And fermented wine." Jiang Leping said.

  According to reports, during the Shangshan culture period, rice was still in the early stages of domestication, and its harvesting and processing may require higher labor costs.

Therefore, the wine at the Qiaotou site may be a kind of "special" or "luxury" food with social value.

In addition, the pottery unearthed at the Qiaotou site was found near a tomb in a non-residential area.

The research team concluded that these wine pots may have been used in burial ceremonies.

  Yiwu Qiaotou Site is located in Qiaotou Village, Chengxi Street, Yiwu City. The site was discovered in 2012 and was shortlisted for the top ten new archaeological discoveries in China in 2019. The two tombs of Shangshan culture at the Qiaotou site are the earliest tombs discovered in Zhejiang. At present, the excavation by the Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology has not yet ended. (over)