29 May 2020 - 6 Sivan 5780 - ו' סיון ה' אלפים תש"פ
Cheers! World’s oldest brewery found E-mail

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the world’s oldest site for alcohol production. They theorise that the beer-like beverage may have been served in ceremonies some 13,000 years ago.

The site is located in the Raqefet cave south of Haifa that also served as a burial site for the Natufian people.

“If we’re right, this is the earliest testament in the world to alcohol production of any kind,” said Dani Nadel, an archaeology professor at the University of Haifa and one of the authors of an article published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

“We know what the Natufians did in the cave. They buried some of their dead on a platform of flowers and plants, and apparently also produced a soup-like liquid, an alcoholic drink.” According to Nadel, the liquid was “different than today’s beer” and probably much weaker, “but fermented”.

The archaeologists discovered three small pits, or mortars, each about 40-60 centimetres deep, that had been carved into the surface of the Raqefet cave. Two of them were for storing grains, and the third was for pounding and brewing grains ahead of fermentation, the study found. The location of the mortars in the burial caves implies that the drink was “apparently connected to the ceremonies, or some sort of social event,” Nadel said.

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