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Researchers have discovered the earliest evidence of alcohol production, from 13,000 years ago, in the Rakefet Cave in the Carmel, Haifa University announced Thursday.
The discovery was made in a joint archaeological collaboration project by Haifa University and Stanford University researchers.
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Archaeologists analyzed three stone mortars from the 13,000-year-old Natufian burial cave site in Israel, concluding that these mortars were used for brewing wheat/barley, as well as for food storage.
Researchers - Evidence - Brewing - Advent - Agriculture
The researchers explained that the earliest archaeological evidence for cereal-based brewing, even before the advent of agriculture, comes from the Natufians – a semi-sedentary, foraging people, living in the Eastern Mediterranean between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic periods, following the last Ice Age.
The Natufians at Rakefet Cave collected locally available plants, stored malted seeds and made beer as a part of their rituals, according to the study.
Researchers - Evidence - Grains - Mortars - Wheat
The researchers found evidence of several different grains stored in mortars, including wheat, barley, oats, legumes and flax. An examination of two mortars found microscopic remains of starch grains that underwent morphological changes that correspond to changes in starch that occur in the process of fermentation.
The evidence indicates that the craters were used to store grains before and after fermentation.
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