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Archaeologists discover a prehistoric brewery in China dating back 5,000 years from Ayman's blog

Archaeologists discover a prehistoric brewery in China dating back 5,000 years

New research has revealed that prehistoric people of China were beer drinkers. Tests have just confirmed residue on vessels that indicate the presence of beer 5,000 years ago in Shaanxi Province in northern China, making it the earliest known beer brewing operation in China.

In 2004, researchers found indications of an alcoholic concoction made from honey, some type of fruit and rice that dated back at least 8,600 years.

This week, the University of Stanford’s Jiajing Wang and colleagues published an article saying they had examined the remnants of amphorae, pots and funnels from the Mijaiya site in Shaanxi that they think were used to brew beer and filter and store it.

At the Mijaiya archaeological site, an early society of semi-nomadic farmers called the Yangshao people likely lived.

A model of Jiangzhai, a Yangshao village

A model of Jiangzhai, a Yangshao village (public domain)

The researchers found a yellow coating on the vessels that included microscopic starch fragments and silica particles called phytoliths that occur in the husks of cereals, including barley, Job’s tears, broomcorn millet and tubers, reports New Scientist in an article this week.

Radiocarbon dating placed the age of the pits in which the vessels and small stoves were found at 4,900 to 5,000 years old.


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