Although wine was unquestionably one of the most important commodities traded in the Mediterranean during the Roman Empire, less is known about wine commerce after its fall and whether the trade continued in regions under Islamic control. To investigate, here we undertook systematic analysis of grapevine products in archaeological ceramics, encompassing the chemical analysis of 109 transport amphorae from the fifth to the eleventh centuries, as well as numerous control samples. By quantifying tartaric acid in relation to malic acid, we were able to distinguish grapevines from other fruit-based products with a high degree of confidence. Using these quantitative criteria, we show beyond doubt that wine continued to be traded through Sicily during the Islamic period. Wine was supplied locally within Sicily but also exported from Palermo to ports under Christian control. Such direct evidence supports the notion that Sicilian merchants continued to capitalize on profitable Mediterranean trade networks during the Islamic period, including the trade in products prohibited by the Islamic hadiths, and that the relationship between wine and the rise of Islam was far from straightforward.
|Titolo:||Chemical evidence for the persistence of wine production and trade in Early Medieval Islamic Sicily|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|