and Simmonds 1995; Reisch and Pratt 1996). Wild grapes are dioecious, perennial, forest vines and thrive in cooler and more humid conditions than do olives. Harvest of wild grapes long preceded domestication, as evidenced by carbonized seed in numerous prehistoric sites in Europe. Presence of the wine grape in the Near East is dated as early as the 8 th millennia BCE but eastward expansion was limited by lack of winter hardiness and poor adaptation to high summer rainfall. Toward 5000 BCE, and perhaps earlier, the domestic grape, V. vinifera , migrated from Anatolia to Syria and thence to the Holy Land. Signs of Bronze Age domestication are found in Mesopotamia, the Holy Land, Syria, Egypt, and the Aegean. By the 2 nd millennium BCE there is evidence of vessels for wine storage as well as of raisins. A number of grape species are found in the New World and these types were domesticated after the European encounter with America (Reisch and Pratt 1996). One American species, V. labrusca , known as the fox grape, was
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