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:
 
A Slice of Brooklyn Comes to Denver at DC Pie Co.

A Slice of Brooklyn Comes to Denver at DC Pie Co.

Let's get to know our new neighbor from The Empire State....read more ›

by Carrie Dow May 9, 2019
Pints Are Pouring at Denver's Empourium

Pints Are Pouring at Denver's Empourium

Ready to serve you a plethora of easy sipping brews....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Apr 17, 2019
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
Denver's Hippest Bar Restrooms

Denver's Hippest Bar Restrooms

Most bar restrooms are places you don't want to spend a lot of time in....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Apr 2, 2019
PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

Pabst Blue Ribbon has filed documents to create its very own whiskey, making for the perfect shot & beer combo....read more ›

by Drink Philly Mar 18, 2019
Happy Hour Means Sushi at Uchi Denver

Happy Hour Means Sushi at Uchi Denver

Uchi, which means house or home in Japanese, came to Denver by way of Austin, TX....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Mar 12, 2019
Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

In this edition of Behind the Bar, we chatted with Tory Pratt, the founder of Pratt Standard....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 7, 2019
Neighborhood Pub Crawl: Historic Larimer Square

Neighborhood Pub Crawl: Historic Larimer Square

Larimer Square has its share of saloons and dance halls, just like back in the day. ...read more ›

by Carrie Dow Mar 5, 2019
Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Ridley Scott has directed a four-minute short film for Hennessy X.O. visualizing the seven flavors of the high...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 4, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close