Feeling guilty about your alcohol consumption this week? Don’t be, it’s something humans have been doing for ages. Literally hundreds of ages. To be exact: 11.000 years ago people were already misbehaving themselves on alcoholic drinks, researchers found out.
It always seemed plausible that the first grain humans harvested was used for making bread. But now it seems the early human societies had other interests. They first started making beer with the nutritious crop. Two different teams of researchers found breweries that date back to the bronze age and even the neolithicum. They published their findings in the journals Levant and Antiquity.
The kilns were found in South-Eastern Turkey and on Cyprus, next to sites that were probably used as feasting halls. To be sure, the researchers used the old kilns of Cyprus once again, producing a cloudy and weird-tasting beer.
Since it still was a big hassle to create beer at that time, people probably only drank it at festivities. The researchers think this alcoholic parties, just like in modern times, served to smoothen business. “Work brought communities together for tasks such as bringing in the harvest or erecting special buildings.”, says dr Lindy Crewe. “Instead of payment, participants are rewarded with a special feast, often involving quantities of alcohol which also transformed the work from a chore into a social event.”