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Sumerian beer and civilization

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posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 02:45 PM
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So what do archaeologists and anthropologists actually know about ancient civilizations and politics and trade? Here's a fascinating article about Sumer (one of the earliest Middle East civilizations (yes, I know they say the first but that's still debated by archaeologists and historians).)
They put the history of the civilization together quite nicely, including the story of how it collapsed and what happened to the people.

beeradvocate.com...




posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 06:52 PM
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Interesting read Byrd, being an avid beer drinker myself i can understand the importance of Beer in ancient civilisations
, both socially and politically. It makes sense that Beer and Civilisation go hand in hand, after discovering how to make beer and enjoying it's effects our ancestors would have immediately decided that to continue to enjoy beer they would have to settle down and farm the grains to keep producing it. Therefore BEER is the reason why we are civilised !!

Havent they also discovered wheat and barley seeds in the Çatalhöyük dig, which would pre-date Sumer if it was found that they were brewing beer in that settlement, but those seeds could also have only been used in the production of bread. I understand it's difficult to prove if they were brewing though as the ingrediants used would not last and a large grouping of vats and kilns would be needed to prove that they were brewing.

I also found some other little interesting tid bits on ancient Beers and brewing.

9000yr old chinese beer?


Sam Calagione of the Dogfish Head brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, used a recipe that included rice, honey, and grape and hawthorn fruits. He got the formula from archaeologists who derived it from the residues of pottery jars found in the late Stone Age village of Jiahu in northern China.


Brewery's found in Hierakonpolis


It was here in 1898 that the British Egyptologist J.E. Quibell discovered a series of bee-hive shaped granaries, traces of which still survive. The granaries, in conjunction with the evidence for large-scale burning (from firing or cooking) on the mound and my discovery of the brewery, suggest that the entire area was a large industrial zone for processing agricultural produce. The brewery at HK24A is one of the oldest-known beer production sites in Egypt, and its large vats were capable of brewing several hundred gallons of beer a day.


More on the brewery's found in Hierakonpolis


A weighted average of archaeologically reliable radiocarbon dates from the vat site (Hk24A) of 4719 ± 34 C-14 years bp calibrates to a date of between 3,500?3,400 BC, corresponding to Naqada IIa-b), making them the oldest breweries known in the world


Pre-inca site of beer production


The giant wide-mouthed urns are a perfect size for boiling and serving corn beer, or chicha, while the large jars are ideal for fermenting the brew.


Beer also a medicine in ancient Nubia


The bones, the researchers say, contain traces of the antibiotic tetracycline. Today tetracycline is used to treat ailments ranging from acne flare-ups to urinary-tract infections. But the antibiotic only came into commercial use half a century ago. So how did tetracycline get into the Nubian bones?
Armelagos and his team say they found an answer in ancient beer. The brew was made from grain contaminated with the bacteria streptomycedes, which produces tetracycline.


From the same article, the bold is my emphasis.



Armelagos said the Egyptians used beer as a gum-disease treatment, a dressing for wounds, and even an anal fumigant—a vaporborne pesticide to treat diseases of the anus. The anthropologist also believes the tetracycline protected the Nubians from bone infections, as all the bones he examined are infection free


Nice thread Byrd. Hmmm now i'm thirsty.



Originally posted by Byrd
Here's a fascinating article about Sumer (one of the earliest Middle East civilizations (yes, I know they say the first but that's still debated by archaeologists and historians)


It's still debated, i thought it was generally accepted, what civilisation do they think might pre-date Sumer.

Cheers Mojo.



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 09:37 PM
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Weeeelll, here's a thread I really can get into


Byrd, is this not a shameful way to get votes? You just got mine.


Perhaps the hanging gardens of Babylon were really the Hanging Beer Gardens of Babylon. And while I remember my school days learning of the Code of Hammurabi, no teacher ever told me it had applications for beer.

My husband has always had the opinion that humans were meant to find pleasure in the effects of alcohol, citing even in the animal world some animals enjoy an "altered state" (rhesus monkeys, and birds that eat fermented berries).

A little off topic, but with all the news about tainted food products from/in China, I now wonder about Chinese beer.
Makes me think twice about a Tsingtao beer.



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by desert

My husband has always had the opinion that humans were meant to find pleasure in the effects of alcohol, citing even in the animal world some animals enjoy an "altered state" (rhesus monkeys, and birds that eat fermented berries).


This reminds of a recent video on youtube I saw featuring Terence McKenna. In it he stated that one of man's greatest flaws was switching from a diet of psychedelic mushrooms to that of alcohol. While the effects of alcohol may be enjoyable they are also counter productive, while psychedelic mushrooms encourage creative thought . Perhaps the roots of materialist society can be traced to these ancient beer drinkers, where there drug of choice changed them into lovers of the flesh instead taking shrooms and seeking to expand the mind.

I'm probably connecting the wrong dots here but interesting topic nonetheless.



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 09:53 PM
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@ Vipassana, i think a lot of cultures continued to use mind altering substances up until fairly recently, and some still do to this day. They are generally still primitive or third world cultures though. I dont see that they have benefited from their use of these drugs.
I'll see if i cant find that vid to have a look at though.

cheers.



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 09:56 AM
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it was a very good read. 6,000 years later and beer is still an important part of culture



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 10:16 AM
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Yes, yes, "mind altering" can be good, whether it is from an ingestion of a substance or from an "outside" experience (a religious ecstasy, a highly emotional experience, etc.). Coffee has been said to have stimulated Enlightenment in France. Besides a "cup of ambition" in the morning, coffee can certainly perk up the brain and keep one awake for hours of stimulating conversation with an exchange of ideas. OTOH, it is laughingly joked that marijuana results in sitting around feeling good but doing nothing.

I think it is good to remind ourselves that basically everything we ingest (through eating or even skin absorption) is eventually converted into chemicals by the body, to be used as chemicals by the body/brain.

For some people, the body chemistry does not allow for normal consumption of alcohol, hence "alcoholism".

I toast the Germans for brewing beer far and wide. Not to mention spreading polka style music. OK, OK, not everyone enjoys polka music



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 11:19 AM
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There's a book somewhere documenting the intellectual and cultural changes that occurred when people stopped drinking beer/wine for breakfast (a common practice) and started drinking tea and coffee. According to the book (this is a quick and bad summary of mine), we went from being amusingly and illogically blotto to wide awake and wired.

At least, that was the writer's theory.

Mojo -- great stuff! There's all sorts of brewed beverages (the ones that make my eyebrows raise are the ones where everyone gets together and chews up some grain and spits it into a pot and they let that ferment. I'll have to find some sources, there...)



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 11:19 AM
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There's a book somewhere documenting the intellectual and cultural changes that occurred when people stopped drinking beer/wine for breakfast (a common practice) and started drinking tea and coffee. According to the book (this is a quick and bad summary of mine), we went from being amusingly and illogically blotto to wide awake and wired.

At least, that was the writer's theory.

Mojo -- great stuff! There's all sorts of brewed beverages (the ones that make my eyebrows raise are the ones where everyone gets together and chews up some grain and spits it into a pot and they let that ferment. I'll have to find some sources, there...)



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 03:10 AM
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Is this the book you were thinking of Byrd?

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage.


and in the Middle Ages in Europe almost everybody had beer and/or beer soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner.



Coffee comes next. That and the Age of Reason. Standage, along with other authorities that I have read credit coffee with sobering up Europe and ushering in rapid social, scientific, technological, and social change. Instead of beer for breakfast, now it was off to the coffeehouse and talk of trade, science and revolution. Coffee was safer than water because the water was boiled to make the coffee.


[edit on 4/8/07 by mojo4sale]



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 05:12 AM
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As a german i certainly think that after reading this article that we are the real descendents of the Sumerians


Great find Byrd


Another small intresting fact about beer from the middle ages: All servants at the royal courts were given up to 7 litres of beer per day, with that amount one could nourish himself only with the beer as it contains nearly all the things your body needs


Flüssiges Brot = Liquid bread



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 05:24 AM
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Originally posted by mojo4sale
@ Vipassana, i think a lot of cultures continued to use mind altering substances up until fairly recently, and some still do to this day. They are generally still primitive or third world cultures though. I dont see that they have benefited from their use of these drugs.
I'll see if i cant find that vid to have a look at though.

cheers.


Maybe they are technologically primitive but they are usually totally advanced in spirituality and shamanism. Every true spiritual being is highly aware of unimportance of materialistic world and therefore these cultures not only forsake the tech development but they also refuse help and knowledge from us smart people from of developed world...
Those barbarians! How dare they! If they dont want us to show them how to live, we will assimilate them with force. Resistance is futile!



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 05:19 PM
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I cant wait to explain to my wife that if it wasnt for Brewers she would not be able to enjoy her chocolates.


Chocolate Origins Traced to Beer Makers 3,000 Years Ago


People have been enjoying chocolate for more than 3,000 years—about 500 years earlier than previously believed, according to a new study.
Researchers also think that chocolate was discovered by accident—when Central American Indians making beer from the pulp of cacao seedpods found a new use for a byproduct of that process.


Mmmmm.....Chocolate Beer...*drools*

mojo



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 03:15 AM
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Originally posted by jaydelay
it was a very good read. 6,000 years later and beer is still an important part of culture


timu is Sumerian for "break wind" apparently. It just goes to show people haven't changed one bit, doesn't it!



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 10:49 AM
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Well beer these days has much more alcohol then it had in those times. Iirc alcohol percentage used to be like 1/10th of what it is now.

Is there also any news about the sumerians being possibly turkic?



posted on Nov, 17 2007 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by C.C.Benjamin

Originally posted by jaydelay
it was a very good read. 6,000 years later and beer is still an important part of culture


timu is Sumerian for "break wind" apparently. It just goes to show people haven't changed one bit, doesn't it!


psd.museum.upenn.edu...

dur [FART] wr. dur2 "to fart" Akk. şarātu




posted on Dec, 1 2007 @ 05:16 PM
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Another boozy story i just came across.


Uncovering the Secrets of Ireland's Ancient Breweries


The two archaeologists were scheduled to excavate a nearby grassy mound known as a fulacht fiadh (pronounced "full-oct fee-ah"). About 5,000 of the mounds have been discovered throughout Ireland, most dating from 1500 to 500 BC. They're not much to look at — excavation reveals a rectangular trough (fulacht is Gaelic for "recess") surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped arrangement of burnt stones. No one's certain what they were used for, but in a flash of insight, Quinn proposed a hypothesis in keeping with his nation's cerevisaphilic reputation: The Bronze Age relics might just be Ireland's first breweries.



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