Can Beer Really Provide Insight Into the Collapse of Ancient Civilizations?

by The Drink Nation on Aug 12, 2014 in Beer

We’re all familiar with — and for the most part accept — the idea that beer served as a major catalyst in the development of ancient civilizations.

This generally agreed upon concept posits that civilizations sprouted up around the early humans who grew and stored grain for making beer.

Why? Well, because beer is awesome.

But now scientists are conducting research to see if the beer and the ingredients that went into it can provide insight into possible changes in climate that may have played a hand in the demise of those same ancient societies.

Frank Hole, an emeritus professor at Yale University, and his colleagues have been studying barley grains excavated from archaeological sites all over the Near East. According to NBC News, what they’ve found is, the ancient grains do indeed tell a story. And it’s kind of grim. Runaway barley grains that never made it to ancient brewer’s kettles bear signs of drought and other taxing environmental abnormalities that tend to put a damper on civilizations.

Exactly what do these researchers hope to elicit from these findings?

For one, they hope to find ways to prevent present day societies from collapsing as global climate change continues to pose real and very serious threats.

Or as one researcher puts it:

“These ancient mega-drought occurrences are a very strong and reinforcing lesson for us who have the ability to literally understand the present and see the future … to take positive action to either avert what we see coming or mitigate its effects and protect our populations."

Averting civilization's end is certainly something we can raise a glass to. 

Photo: Wooden model of beer making in ancient Egypt via Wikimedia Commons


Tags: Bar Crawl, News
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Deck Your Halls With These Whiskey-Filled Ornaments

Deck Your Halls With These Whiskey-Filled Ornaments

Forget the tinsel and string lights - the UK's Lakes Distillery has released a line of booze-filled ornaments just in time to make your holiday season...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 14, 2017
Napa Valley is Running a Christmas-Themed Wine Train to the 'North Pole' For the Holidays

Napa Valley is Running a Christmas-Themed Wine Train to the 'North Pole' For the Holidays

If you've ever wanted to travel to the North Pole for the holidays, you can - but you have to get to the Napa ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Nov 6, 2017
Portland's Best Fall Cocktails

Portland's Best Fall Cocktails

Let's we do what we do best and flock to cocktail bars and restaurants to sample the best drinks of the season....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 6, 2017
SPONSORED
Brace Yourself: A Wine Shortage is Imminent

Brace Yourself: A Wine Shortage is Imminent

Europe is bracing for the lowest wine yield in decades, dropping 14% from 2016....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 6, 2017
Delta is Now Serving Complimentary Prosecco on Select Flights

Delta is Now Serving Complimentary Prosecco on Select Flights

Delta Airlines is now serving complimentary prosecco on all of its international flights, including to coach customers....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 6, 2017
A Rare Sam Adams Beer, Utopia, Is Being Released

A Rare Sam Adams Beer, Utopia, Is Being Released

Sam Adams has released their biennial Utopias beer, a barrel aged ale that is illegal in 12 states due to its high alcohol content....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Oct 31, 2017
Where to Celebrate World Gin Day in Portland

Where to Celebrate World Gin Day in Portland

November 7 is World Gin Day, a holiday that has not yet been recognized by most federal governments, for some reason - but just because it’s not leg...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Oct 31, 2017
A Canadian Man is Suing an Airline for a Ridiculous Champagne-Related Reason

A Canadian Man is Suing an Airline for a Ridiculous Champagne-Related Reason

This Canadian man has sued an airline for a champagne-related reason you won't believe....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Oct 31, 2017
Chocolate Red Wine is Here, Just in Time for Winter

Chocolate Red Wine is Here, Just in Time for Winter

Winter is officially coming, and one U.K. winery has created a chocolate red wine to keep you warm and cozy all season long....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Oct 31, 2017
This Chicago Bar is Dressing Up as Moe's Tavern for Halloween

This Chicago Bar is Dressing Up as Moe's Tavern for Halloween

Bar and arcade Replay, in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, is getting into the Halloween spirit by dressing up as Moe's Tavern, the iconic dive bar f...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Oct 24, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close