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The role of cult and feasting in the emergence of Neolithic communities at Gobekli Tepe

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posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 08:00 PM
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Not sure if this report has been included in other threads



Beer drinking at Gobekli Tepe: The role of cult and feasting in theemergence of Neolithic communities.New evidence from Gobekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey



Until recently it was widely accepted that beer brewing and wine production started withthe civilisations of Mesopotamia and Egypt documented by literary and iconographical evidence. But in recent years, the starting point for the production of alcoholic beverages has been pushed ever further intothe past. Not only could the residues of alcoholic beverages be pinned down chemically in early dynastic Egypt at Hierakonpolis or the late Uruk periodsite of Godin Tepe, Iran (Michel et al .1993), and fifth-millennium BC Neolithic Greece but wine has been detected even earlier in a Neolithic (mid sixth-millennium BC) jar from Hajji Firuz Tepe in northern Iran
and in stone bowls from the PPN burial site of K ¨ortik Tepe, south-eastern Turkey. It can be safely stated that people’s first interest in wild grapes in western Asia wasfor alcohol production, evidence for domestication only following in the fourth millenniumBC. From G¨obekli Tepe now comes further chemical evidence this timefor beer brewing, although it is not fully conclusive as yet.(okay some weasel words)




Good images of the site too
edit on 6/9/13 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Hi Hans
That was a fascinating read, thanks for posting,
The idea that brsearch if other seasonal itemsbeer was a precursor to bread making and the motive force behind cereal domestication is novel and raises some other questions.
The first question being were these people truley hunter gatherers?
The gathering and storing of wild cereals in quantities sufficient for brewing, means that these people weren't simply hunter gatherers, but were a settled group with a good sized population, that would needed in order to gather up the wild cereals.
My second question is, how did they come by the idea brewing beer, and did it lead to a sedentary life?
Maybe when they were a true h/g society, the cacheing of collected cereals started the while thing off.

At this same point in time in the new world, the people of the great basin were doing just that. They were collecting seeds and acorns and cacheing them away in caves and pits in areas where these foodstuffs were plentiful. The diversity of other items found in the caches suggest that they were storing the grains for future use.
Could this type of practice have lead to the invention of brewing and thereby settlements and agriculture?
Imagine you and your people had a good year with just the right weather and the grasses grew good and tall.
You've collected far more seeds than you can use at the time, so you stash some of it away in a pit, or cave. Maybe in baskets or leather bags. Unknown to you, because you left the area in search of other goodies
,along comes some rain and gets the grain wet, and it starts fermenting..

When you return you find that your stash has gotten wet and went south. But you are really hungry, so you take the chance and eat the bubbly smelly mess any way. After a couple gourd cups full you feel the alcohol, and it is truly a gift from the gods. Next harvest you stash you stash your grain in the same place and the place becomes important enough to stay.



posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 10:35 PM
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reply to post by punkinworks10
 


I dont think you're far off on the accidental fermentation leading them down this road. However I think the impetus lies more in the area of making the grains more digestible. At that point in time humans had yet to adapt to eating grains. Essentially everyone would have exhibited ceiliac disease. When you ferment grains you get 2 beneficial side effects. First is longer viable storage. Second and more importantly , when you ferment grains you neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that can lead to bone disease, dimentia and a host of other issues associated with lack of appropriate vitamin intake. The grains can now be eaten and instead of being gassy and bloated you now have the additional benefit of increased Vitamin absorption and beneicial bacteria in your digestive tract. This practice is still used in many cultures from Ethiopia to India to Mexico and Latin America. While Ive always thought this was the more liky scenario it would be a whole lot cooler if intoxicants were the impetus for settling into agricultural based communities from hunter gatherers. It sure as hell makes for a better story!



posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 10:55 PM
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So they threw a frat party? Think they did keg stands?



posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 11:04 PM
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Twenty years after man was formed he found ways to get drunk
It took a few generations but he found a way to make alcohol



posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by peter vlar
 


Your reply made me remember something I watched on pbs a couple of years ago.
It was a doumentary about a tribe of Indians in the mtns of northern central Mexico.
They brew a very weak corn beer as a way of preserving the corn.
The other notable thing about this tribe is that they are natural born runners, the men run races of up to 300 miles, in mtns none the less. They stop in villiages along the course to have a big cup of beer, it supplys all of the caloric and hydration needs during the race.
In general villiage life in the area the beer supplys most of hydration needs of the people, the don't drink water, they drink this really thick weak beer.



posted on Sep, 7 2013 @ 01:50 AM
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Good replies, yeah sprouted grain can be used for many things. As this is PPNA I suspect they were using stomach bags and baskets sealed with clay to hold liquids.

I suspect that the GT'ers were HG and they used the site for their 'spring' festival, making a new one every few years or in response to a new chief, omen or astronomical observation, when they built a new one they buried the old.



posted on Sep, 7 2013 @ 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by punkinworks10
The first question being were these people truley hunter gatherers?


Current thinking (as I understand it) is that they were semi-nomadic... think of the Sioux of the Great Plains, who had "mostly permanent camps" but moved as buffalo and other resources migrated. They had places where they collected berries and grains. In some areas of California, the Chumash practiced burning and reseeding.


My second question is, how did they come by the idea brewing beer, and did it lead to a sedentary life?
Maybe when they were a true h/g society, the cacheing of collected cereals started the while thing off.


No one knows, though beer brewing comes after breadmaking. They would have certainly seen animals and birds getting drunk off overripe fruit and would have tried that themselves.

And yes, semi-nomads (and even nomads) will make storage pits. We have them here in south Texas.





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