Near the banquet hall where rulers of a Middle Bronze Age city-state and their guests feasted, a team of American and Israeli researchers broke through to a storage room holding the remains of 40 large ceramic jars. The vessels were broken, their liquid contents long since vanished — but not without a trace.
A chemical analysis of residues left in the three-foot-tall jars detected organic traces of acids that are common components of all wine, as well as ingredients popular in ancient winemaking. These included honey, mint, cinnamon bark, juniper berries and resins used as a preservative. The recipe was similar to medicinal wines used for 2,000 years in ancient Egypt and probably tasted something like retsina or other resinous Greek wines today.
So the archaeologists who have been exploring the Canaanite site, known as Tel Kabri, announced on Friday that they had found one of civilization’s oldest and largest wine cellars. The storage room held the equivalent of about 3,000 bottles of red and white wines, they said — and they suspected that this was not the palace’s only wine cellar.
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
Artist Ed Fairburn continues to push his creative limits with these new map portraits. In the piece shown above, a Bristol street map has been carefully cut and drawn on, revealing the side of a woman’s face. The map can turn into an envelope, which results in a combination of the map works Fairburn usually produces and a project he had previously worked on that involved postal art.
In another new work, Fairburn marries two previous techniques, as well. “With contoured maps I usually use a pencil to follow lines of elevation, altering the grade and pressure to change the tones,” he tells us. “With “Innsbruck” (below), I’ve instead highlighted the contours in ink, altering the thickness of each line to show the figure.”