WINE & BEER IN THE PRE-ROMAN TIMES IN SANISERA (Menorca, Spain)

Punicebusitan amphora discovered in the port of Sanitja making the underwater course of the Sanisera

Punicebusitan amphora discovered in the port of Sanitja making the underwater course of the Sanisera

Studies by The Sanisera Field School have revealed important data on trade of alcoholic beverages in the waters of The Roman Harbour of Sanitja. Several boats seem to have carried some kind of fermented vegetable substance.

However, we must note the important finding of Iberian amphorae “I-2C Type” from Laietan origin (near the present coast of Barcelona). Apparently the Iberian productions of this type were related to a surplus of barley production of these Iberian populations at the end of the third century BC and during the second century BC. This production was used for making beer that had spread along the Spanish Levante (near Valencia or Alicante) and the Balearic Islands, in ebusitan boats.

Although we also have punicebusitan models dedicated exclusively to packaging wine from the neighboring island (Ibiza) in the second century BC, such as PE-17 type. Though other containers such as PE-22 or PE-14, a bit earlier (IV -III BC) could also contain the precious liquid.

Finally, we discuss about the Italic wine. It should take the Balearic trade between the late second century BC and late first century BC. As a prime example, we have a boat, surely italic, whose primary cargo were containers Dressel 1A, the amphora of republican wine from Campanian and Falerno.

Therefore, we know that the indigenous populations of Menorca fermented beverages consumed regularly before the Roman times. Today we know that they could consume Ebusitan wine between the fourth and third centuries BC, Iberian beer between the third and second centuries BC, and Ebusitan aItalian Amphora carrying wine of Naples during the Roman Republican period and Italic wine in the second century BC.

Italian Amphora carrying wine of Naples during the Roman Republican period

Italian Amphora carrying wine of Naples during the Roman Republican period

Iberian amphora discovered in the port of Sanitja making the underwater course of the Sanisera field school

Iberian amphora discovered in the port of Sanitja making the underwater course of the Sanisera field school

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