The world’s oldest tea has been extracted from the tomb of Chinese Emperor
British researchers working on the re-Dating part of the ancient silk road opened 2100 years old tomb of a Chinese Emperor and discovered in it the remains of the oldest tea in the world.
The leaves of the ancient tea Bush were recovered from burial Liu Qi (also known as Han Jing di ), the fourth Emperor of the Han dynasty. lived between 188 and 141 years BC.
Recall that the first written record of tea dates back to 59 BC, and until now the remains of the oldest plants ever discovered were hundreds of years younger (they were associated with the Northern song dynasty. who ruled in the years 960-1127 ad).
“Our work showed that tea was the drink of emperors of the Han dynasty already 2100 years ago,” according to scientists. They compared the remains of plants with those that were found among the funerary artifacts of the cemetery in the monastery Gorham in Tibet, which is about 1800 years.
The analysis showed that at the time, tea was transported from China to the countries of Central Asia and Tibetan plateau, that is, these trade relations have started hundreds of years earlier than was thought – about 1800 years ago (the tea proizrostaet Tibet).
This means that in those days one branch of the Great silk road passed through Western Tibet, say the archaeologists. Previous traces of the tea trade, which was considered the earliest, heading along the silk road to Tibet, Central Asia or South Asia. It was assumed that trade began in the Tang dynasty. who ruled from 618 to 907 ad.
Unfortunately, the tea from the grave of the Emperor was not in the best condition, so that the shape of the leaves was difficult to determine its type. The team used molecular analysis and found that, most likely, it belongs to the genus Camellia ( Camellia ).
“The opening showed how modern science can reveal previously unknown details about important ancient Chinese culture, commented on the opening of Professor Dorian fuller (Dorian Fuller ), Director of the international centre for Chinese heritage at Universitetska College London. – Research gives us a rare glimpse into ancient traditions, which shed light on the origin of the most famous beverage in the world”.
New data has shown that tea has been a symbol of luxury along with textiles. Today tea is considered one of the most popular beverages in the world (after clean water). It regularly drink three-quarters of the world population.