https://safirsoft.com 9,000 years ago, funerals in China contained a lot of beer

The world's oldest painted pottery can be used to drink beer at funerals. Some dishes such as bronze vases with long necks and round bellies were used by people for alcoholic beverages thousands of years later. That left Dartmouth College anthropologist Jiajing Wang and his colleagues wondering whether these early pottery copies might actually contain beer.

Fragments of eight of the thirteen pots contain phytoliths (fossilized plant remains) of rice and tubers and a plant called Job's tears. The starch particles in the residue showed signs of warming and fermentation. Wang and his colleagues also found yeast and mold, the two main ingredients in the fermentation process. "A seed called Job's tears and unknown tubers," Wang said. But this ancient beer was nothing like today's IPA. Alternatively, it was probably a sweet, slightly fermented drink that was probably dark in color. "

"A drink for the living, a toast for the dead"

Sweet rice beer can be the product of a great deal of work. About 9000 years ago, people in southern China were just busy, the culture of Shanghai has been settled in the countryside, but most still depend on hunting and foraging for most of their food.Evidence from other archaeological sites tells us that tubers and acorns are a major component of the order.Rice.It appears to have been a luxury item at the time, and rice beer was reserved for special occasions. Very much due to the extra effort and extra time required to prepare them.

In this case, someone buried these pots in several “dug” pits “buried on a large platform - a mound 80 m long, 50 m wide, 3 m high and 10 to 15 m wide around. Surrounded by meters, a hole two meters deep. The platform was the last resting place of at least two people whose skeleton was near the mud pits, all suggesting that the special occasion in Kyoto may have been a funeral or a major funeral next. It was the funeral of the dead. The ceramics on the platform are well made and decorated with a white slip consisting of a white terracotta outer layer. A number of them are painted with abstract patterns of lines and dots, making Kyoto pottery the oldest pottery drawn by archaeologists.

Fermentation Mold

Dried remains of ancient beer are still stuck in some of these pots after 9,000 years, giving a friendly reminder that if you don't wash your dishes, the ancient future scientists might know. This is especially true when drinking beer early on. "It is likely that the prehistoric beverage was similar to porridge that contained insoluble substances, including starch and other herbal additives that were not fully digested during the fermentation process." “These residues are useful in determining alcohol-related effects,” Wang et al. Wang and colleagues compared the starch particles, plant masses, and fungal masses with a database of Asian plants, a database of other microbes and starches produced by the researchers' own experiments, and traditional fermentation techniques.

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The model provided a particularly important guide to how the people of Shanghai prepared beer. The mold in Qiaotou drinks corresponds to two species, which help kick-start the fermentation process in the modern era.

It takes very little to turn a grain like barley, rice, or wheat into beer. Chemistry happens First, the enzymes must convert the starches in the grains into sugar. Next, the yeast must convert these sugars into alcohol and (usually) carbon dioxide. Certain types of molds that are added to the mixture can help start both processes. Qiaotou is now the world's oldest evidence of people using mushrooms to make beer. “If people had some leftover rice and seeds, they might have noticed that the seeds became sweetened with age,” says Wang, who speculates how humans used the first mold for mushrooms. “While people may not be aware of the biochemistry associated with rotting grains, they may have noticed and used the fermentation process through trial and error.” Various recipes for beer, including rice, were honey and fruit. Additional chemical decomposition of beer residue in Kyoto pots may indicate whether Kyoto beer contained honey or fruit, Wang and colleagues say.

PLoS ONE, 2021 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0255833 (about DOIs).

9,000 years ago, funerals in China contained a lot of beer
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