It was unlikely that the residents of Islamic Sicily drank alcohol, but that didn’t stop them being involved in a possible thriving wine trade, according to a new study.
Chemical residues of grapes found in medieval containers from Sardinia and Pisa led researchers from the University of York to speculate on how they were used.
They found that a type of container from the 9-11th century, called amphorae – traditionally used for transporting wine – contained the chemical grape traces used in wine, despite evidence the Islamic community in Sicily did not drink alcohol.
Being found as far away as Sardinia and Pisa suggests the wine was in the containers for export, possibly across the entire medieval Mediterranean.
The Islamic empire expanded…