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Areni-1 Cave

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A 6100-year-old winery that was discovered in 2007, the Areni-1 winery is located in a cave complex in the village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor province. The Areni-1 shoe was found in the same cave in 2008.

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Located in the village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor province, ​The Areni-1 winery is a 6100-year-old winery that was discovered in 2007 in the Areni-1 cave complex by a team of Armenian and Irish archaeologists.

At the mouth of the Noravank Gorge lies a cave which boasts of finding the oldest leather shoe known in the world, the 5,500 year old “Areni 1” shoe, discovered by an international team of archeologists in 2008. The cave is also known for some of the oldest wine production facilities, unearthed during the 2007-2008 excavations. 

The winery consists of fermentation vats, a wine press, storage jars, pottery sherds, and is believed to be at least a thousand years older than the winery unearthed in Judea and Samaria in 1963, which is the second oldest currently known.

In addition to these discoveries were found grape seeds, remains of pressed grapes, prunes, walnuts, and desiccated vines. A number of drinking cups found next to a set of ancient graves were also excavated, suggesting that the site was used for funeral ceremonies and ritualistic practices.

The cave was abandoned after its roof caved in, and the organic material was preserved thanks to sheep dung, which prevented fungi from destroying the remains.

Other caves nearby offer beginner to advanced caving opportunities for the adventure seeker. Mozrov Cave, Bears Cave, and Magel Cave also have spectacular natural formations that took eons to create.