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No king was buried as grandly and lavishly as the ancient Egyptian pharaoh and his family. Kings, queens, princes, etc. were buried in stone labyrinths with multiple rooms, every inch of which was decorated and filled with supplies for the afterlife. Egyptian queen Meret-Neith was no exception. Her tomb at Abydos, Egypt, consists of a series of rooms where the 41 servants and courtiers buried with her could care for her after her death. But one of the most impressive finds at the site is a collection of hundreds of clay jars that were once filled with wine, some of which are still sealed. The wine urn was buried with the queen 5,000 years ago. Before her death, Queen Meret-Neith was an incredibly powerful woman, leading some scholars to speculate that she may have been the first female pharaoh. Their status was reflected in the luxury of their grave goods, such as wine urns.

Christiana Köhler, director of excavations at the University of Vienna, commented on the remarkable state of preservation of these artefacts: "Given the fact that these are remnants of people's lives and behaviour 5,000 years ago, we are amazed every day by the amazing details discovered during our excavations. Our research includes: It includes perfectly preserved grape seeds, handicrafts, and even footprints in the mud.”

During all this time some of the jars remain sealed. According to a researcher in the field but not connected to the project, Emlyn Dodd, “The discovery of sealed, intact wine jars at Abydos, along with well-preserved grape pips, has the potential to significantly build our understanding of some of the earliest wine production, use, and trade in the ancient Mediterranean and North Africa. Analysis of the residues left inside the jars, for example, could illuminate the chemical composition of the wine that was once inside, revealing its flavour profile and any additive ingredients that were used.”

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