Sunday, 29 May 2016
Cask from the past: archaeologists discover 5,000-year-old beer recipe
Chinese villagers could have been raising a pint 5,000 years ago, according to new research.
Archaeologists studying vessels unearthed in the Shaanxi province of China say they’ve uncovered beer-making equipment dating from between 3400 and 2900 BC - an era known as the late Yangshao period - and figured out the recipe to boot.
“China has an early tradition of fermentation and evidence of rice-based fermented beverage has been found from the 9000-year-old Jiahu site. However, to our knowledge, [the new discovery] is the first direct evidence of in situ beer making in China,” said Jiajing Wang of Stanford University, first author of the new research.
The team examined residues in the vessels to reveal that the brew was made from a wide range of plants, including broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), Job’s tears (Coix lacryma-jobi) and barley.
The discovery marks the earliest known evidence of barley being used in China, suggesting that the crop arrived in the country around 1,000 years earlier than previously thought. =read more
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