"He has identified the world’s oldest known barley beer (from Iran’s Zagros Mountains, dating to 3400 B.C.), the oldest grape wine (also from the Zagros, circa 5400 B.C.) and the earliest known booze of any kind, a Neolithic grog from China’s Yellow River Valley brewed some 9,000 years ago. [...] He’s fond of citing the role of beer in ancient workplaces. “For the pyramids, each worker got a daily ration of four to five liters,” he says [...] “It was a source of nutrition, refreshment and reward for all the hard work. It was beer for pay. You would have had a rebellion on your hands if they’d run out. The pyramids might not have been built if there hadn’t been enough beer.” [...] “We were interested in winemaking from all different perspectives,” McGovern says. “We wanted to understand the whole process -- to figure out how they domesticated the grape, and where did that happen, how do you tend grapes and the horticulture that goes into it.” A new discipline was born, which scholars jokingly refer to as drinkology, or dipsology, the study of thirst."Priceless! And so civilized too;-)
05 July 2011
Beer Archaeology ~ Libations Fueled Civilization!
Abigail Tucker writes in the latest Smithsonian about the Beer Archaeologist -- UPenn's Patrick McGovern and his quest to understand ancient fermented beverages!