New York: Archaeologists have discovered traces of ancient vineyards, that date back 1,000 years, in the terraced fields of a medieval village in Spain.
Researchers from the University of the Basque Country in Northern Spain found evidence that fields within the medieval settlement of Zaballa were once intensely used to grow grape vines.
In the study published in the journal Quaternary International, researchers stressed that the terraced fields built in the 10th century - still perfectly visible in the landscape - in Zaballa were devoted to the intensive cultivation of vines.
"Archaeo-botanical studies of seed remains found in the excavations and pollen studies have provided material evidence of the existence of vine cultivation in a relatively early period like the 10th century," said study author Juan Antonio Quiros-Castillo.
This evidence is also supported by the metal tools discovered and which had been destined for this very use, and the study of the agrarian spaces, "which owing to the nature of the crop spaces built and the agrarian practices developed, they are not compatible with cereal crops but they are with vines," he added.
Quiros-Castillo and his colleagues also studied another abandoned settlement in Araba-Alava called Zornotegi, `LiveScience` reported.
They discovered that the terraced fields in this village were devoted to cultivating cereals and grains.
"Zornoztegi has a completely different history," Quiros-Castillo said.
"Even though it was founded at more or less the same time, it is a much more egalitarian social community in which such significant social differences are not observed, and nor is the action of manorial powers which, in some way, undermined the balance of the community," he said.