Israel: Archaeologists Discover Ancient Israel Flowing With Milk And Honey... And Beer

"They packed plant-foods, including malted wheat/barley, in fiber-made containers and stored them in boulder mortars. They used bedrock mortars for pounding and cooking plant-foods, including brewing wheat/barley-based beer likely served in ritual feasts 13,000 years ago." -the scientists wrote in the Stanford News.

A recent find in the Carmel mountains by an international team of archaeologists indicates that before grains were cultivated for food, they were grown for fermented alcoholic beverages.

A Stanford University-led study of three 13,000-year-old stone mortars discovered near a graveyard site called the Raqefet Cave, in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa, identified ancient beer residue that is believed to be between 11,700 to 13,700 years old. The mortars are attributed to Natufians, a semi-nomadic group of people who lived in the Levant between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods.

According to team leader Li Liu, the Sir Robert Ho Tung Professor in Chinese Archaeology at Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences, "This accounts for the oldest record of man-made alcohol in the world."

At the same site, archaeologists found proof of bread baking which dates back some 11,600-14,600 years, meaning that using grains for brewing predates the agricultural revolution.

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