Archaeologists discover ancient ‘hangover prevention’ ring

Written by Megan C. Hills, CNN

Raw eggs and Bloody Marys may be among the hangover curesBut archaeologists in Israel have discovered a completely different solution than in the past: a gold and purple amethyst ring.

Excavated in the city of Yavne, the ancient gem was discovered on the site of the largest known winery from the Byzantine era, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. In an accompanying press release, archaeologists Amir Golani said amethyst may have been used to prevent the ill effects of drinking too much alcohol.

“Many virtues have been attributed to this gem,” he is quoted as saying, “including preventing the side effect of drinking, the hangover.”

The ring as it was discovered during the excavation in Yavne, a city in central Israel. Credit: Eliahu Valdaman / Israel Antiquities Authority

The ring was found just 150 meters (492 feet) from the remains of a warehouse containing amphorae, a type of jug used to store wine. The excavation site dates from roughly the 7th century, around the end of the Byzantine era and the beginning of the early Islamic period, although officials said the ring could be even older.

“Gold rings inlaid with amethyst stone are known to the Roman world, and it is possible that the find of the ring belonged to the elites who lived in the city as early as the 3rd century AD,” the press release said. .

Golani said that amethyst was believed to have many other “virtues” and has religious associations, having been mentioned in the Bible. He also speculated that the ring, which weighs 5.11 grams (less than 0.2 ounces), once belonged to a “rich” person.

“Wearing the jewel indicates your status and wealth,” he added. “These rings can be worn by both men and women.”

Conservative Helena Kupershmidt cleaning the gold ring in the laboratories of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Conservative Helena Kupershmidt cleaning the gold ring in the laboratories of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Credit: Dafna Gazit / Israel Antiquities Authority

Elie Haddad, co-director of the excavation, said in a press release that the item may have “belonged to the owner of the magnificent warehouse (of the winery), a foreman” or an “unfortunate visitor, who fell and lost his precious ring. “.

“Did the person wearing the ring want to avoid poisoning from drinking too much wine?” she is also quoted saying. “We will probably never know.”

Amethyst isn’t the only ancient hangover cure that has fallen out of favor. In 2015, an ancient Greek remedy was discovered in a 1,900-year-old papyrus, which recommended wearing a bay leaf necklace as “cure for drunk headache, “according to Live Science. And in ancient Mesopotamia, a doctor was registered recommending a tincture of licorice, oleander, beans, oil and wine in the event that “a man has drunk strong wine and his head is affected.”

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