From the Anatolian highlands to the Persian Gulf, the Near East landscape stretches out between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers (hence "Mesopotamia") and covers an area of around 350,000 km². Today, most of it belongs to Iraq, while smaller parts in the north and northwest belong to Armenia, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. In the north lies Transcaucasia, which together with Mesopotamia is considered the possible origin of the cultivated grapevine and wine culture. According to the latest research, however, the origin is said to lie in the Turkish south-east Anatolia bordering to the north (arrow). This is near Mount Ararat where, according to the Bible, Noah landed and became the first winegrower. However, the first wine was probably made from dates and was mainly drunk from beer. Probably beer is the oldest alcoholic beverage produced by man, even before wine. In the 1st millennium B.C. wine was regularly drunk in this area by the higher classes, one variety is called the "King's Drink". A found designation "wine of the mountains" indicates that wine probably came mainly from the mountainous north (northern Iraq and northern Syria).