The oldest tea remains have been found in China. They are about 2,400 years old, reports The Art Newspaper.
Scientists from Shandong University and the University of Science and Technology Beijing have determined the age of the remains of the tea leaves, which were found in a porcelain cup. They were discovered in a royal tomb in Zoucheng in Shandong Province.
During excavations in 2018, researchers already thought that material was in the cup of tea. Scientific analysis has now shown that this is true.
The tea leaves, and certainly the porcelain items found in the tomb, may not originate from Shandong itself, according to the scientists, but from the former southern state of Yue. The tea and the cup may have been grave goods from the area where the deceased was born.
The tea remains are probably protected against the ravages of time because the cup had fallen over and therefore protected the leaves better. The soil in the area of the find was also not very acidic.
Tea has previously been found that turned out to be 2,100 years old.