Any idea of the real Greek ginger? Nature magazine knows, indeed by ancient DNA !

Researchers were able to retrieve DNA from ancient Greek amphorae and use it to determine what the jars once held. The genetic Material of the Greek Trade History.Ginger among others was travelling the world from Greece in Ancient times

Researchers were able to retrieve DNA from ancient Greek amphorae and use it to determine what the jars once held. The genetic Material of the Greek Trade History.Ginger among others was travelling the world from Greece in Ancient times

Greek Amphora , a DNA  pool for the goods of Ancient Greek Trade

Greek Amphora , a DNA pool for the goods of Ancient Greek Trade

The analysis of nine ancient amphorae revealed important evidence concerning trading in ancient Greece. Brought to the sea surface near Corfu, the amphorae were sent to the University of Lund in Sweden where they underwent DNA analysis.

And yes, you will be surprised !

Ginger Exports by the Ancient Greeks

As nature magazine recently published , new scientific research by an American and to  Greek scientists shows  that the Ancient Greeks did not trade just wine and olive oil, but a plethora of products like legumes, mint, and even ginger.

The analysis of nine ancient amphorae revealed important evidence concerning trading in ancient Greece. Brought to the sea surface near Corfu, the amphorae were sent to the University of Lund in Sweden where they underwent DNA analysis.

Brendan Foley of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, says that 95% of scientific bibliography mentions wine as the only product that the ancient Greeks transported by amphorae.

Foley completed genetic analysis of 9 amphorae that were dated from the 5th to the 3rd century BC with the help of Dimitris Kourkoumelis and Theotokis Theodoulou, archeologists in the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in Athens. As was expected, DNA evidence of grapes was found in 5 of the 9 amphorae while 6 amphorae also showed DNA evidence of olives.

What was surprising though was the existence of the DNA of legumes, ginger, nuts, juniper as well as herbs like mint, thyme and oregano. The fact that different kinds of DNA were found in the same amphorae leads researchers to conclude that the same amphorae would have been used to transport different products each time.

The success of amphorae DNA analysis has researchers planning to repeat their analysis on amphorae from the 3rd century BC that were recovered from a shipwreck in Kyrenia in Cyprus. The same methodology can, in the future, be used on household amphorae and in small vessels containing cosmetics and medicine.

DNA analysis will give new insight on was was being traded in ancient times as well as how trade in ancient Greece itself developed over time.

Source: Nature.com , GoodNews.gr

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