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Wishing To Ward Off Drunkenness

Researchers at the Israeli Department of Archeology discovered a single amethyst golden ring, while excavating an ancient wine factory, in October 2021. They believe that the ring was used to prevent wine hangovers! According to the Department of Archeology, the liquor factory dates back to the Byzantine period (May 11, 330 AD – 1453 AD). The researchers informed the press that excavations were being carried out in the central part of the West Asian nation to find evidence of Byzantine Civilisation. And then, they traced the wine factory of that era. The golden ring was discovered inside the 75,000sqft factory compound.

Researchers further said that the ring was placed beautifully inside a glass container. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has shared an image of the ring on its Facebook page, claiming that the ring belonged to a wealthy person at that period of time. Researchers are of the opinion that the owner of the ring used to determine the quality of wine, as it, at that time, was known to help the person ward off hangovers.

The Ring

Talking to the media, Ancient Jewellery Expert Dr Amir Golani said that the ring must have belonged to a wealthy person, as wearing it meant that the owner was very high profile, and that such a ring could be worn by both men and women. He suggested that the ring could be around 1,400 years old. However, Haaretz’s Ruth Schuster opined that it’s generally not possible to directly date inorganic objects, like metal and gems, through methods, like carbon dating. For her part, Archaeologist Elie Haddad – a Co-director of the IAA excavation – said: “It is possible that the splendid ring belonged to the owner of the magnificent warehouse (situated inside the factory premises), to a foreman, or simply to an unlucky visitor, who dropped and lost their precious ring, until it was finally discovered by us.

Meanwhile, the Israeli experts have claimed that it is the world’s largest ancient wine factory from the Byzantine Period, as the facility was equipped to produce two million litres of wine a year. They stressed that the Amethyst is also mentioned in the Bible. The Byzantine people used to believe that it had various healing properties, including preventing hangovers. Surprisingly, the ring was discovered inside the Byzantine Period wine factory in Israel. Apart from the amazing ring, archaeologists also found several thousands of well-preserved earthen jars, along with fragments, and a number of artefacts, including a colourful 1,600-year-old mosaic and an intact 1,000-year-old chicken egg (which researchers subsequently broke by mistake), in the central Israeli city of Yavne.

The site of a large Byzantine-era wine-making operation

Dr Golani explained that the word Amethyst came from the Greek word Amethystos, which means not intoxicating, and it is related to Medhu, meaning Mead. He continued that the Ancient Greeks often incorporated amethysts into wine glasses or wore it while drinking in hopes of avoiding intoxication. The connection between amethysts and sobriety dates back at least to the time of the Greek Poet Asclepiades of Samos (b. 320 BC), who had mentioned the phenomenon in one of his poems. “Because of their blood-like hues, amethysts, like rubies, were believed in the ancient world to contain energy and healing powers,” stressed Dr Golani.

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