Did a Thirst for Beer Spark Civilization?

Patrick McGovern in his laboratory, examining and “sniffing” out a 3,000-year-old millet wine, which was preserved inside a tightly lidded bronze vessel from an elite tomb at the Shang Dynasty capital of Anyang in China.

(Photograph courtesy of P. Kosty, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology)

Written by Michael Kan for The Independent

Drunkenness, hangovers, and debauchery tend to come to mind when one thinks about alcohol and its effects. But could alcohol also have been a catalyst for human civilization?

According to archaeologist Patrick McGovern this may have been the case when early man decided to start farming. Why humans turned from hunting and gathering to agriculture could be the result of our ancestors’ simple urge for alcoholic beverages.
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