Thursday, January 07, 2010

Rocking in the Stone Age

Archeologist Patrick McGovern has become a specialist in a particular form of prehistoric food use: turning it into alcohol. And he keeps finding earlier and earlier examples of humans partying down.
A secure supply of alcohol appears to have been part of the human community's basic requirements much earlier than was long believed. As early as around 9,000 years ago, long before the invention of the wheel, inhabitants of the Neolithic village Jiahu in China were brewing a type of mead with an alcohol content of 10 percent, McGovern discovered recently.

McGovern has come to believe that the desire for inebriation was one of the moving forces in the development of agriculture, and makes a good case. It's worth reading the whole article.

Photo: Beer and wine cooling in a late holocene culture. Thanks.

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