It turns out beer is much older than we originally thought. The alcoholic beverage is actually 13,000 years old—not a 5000 years old —as previously thought. The proof of this recent discovery was made in a cave in Raqefet, south of Haifa in northern Israel.
The site was a burial place for Natufian men and women (12,500 - 10,000 BC). This is where the archaeologists discovered alcohol was being produced. Dani Nadel, professor of archeology at Haifa University, explains to AFP:
If we are not mistaken, we are dealing with the oldest evidence of alcohol production of any type in the world.
He explains that the drink was part of the funerary rituals.
We know what the Natufians did in this cave, where they buried some of their dead on a platform covered with flowers and plants, and apparently made a liquid like soup, which was actually an alcoholic beverage.
The drink did not look like the one we consume today. It was a thick beverage, less strong in alcohol but fermented and more porridge-like…
Archaeologists found three small holes in the rock, 15 to 25 inches deep. According to the analyses, two of the holes were used to store the grain, the third to ferment it.
The production of this slightly alcoholic beverage, which is said to be the ancestor of beer,shows the extent to which the Natufians had exceptional know-how, since these innovations were ‘several millennia old at the beginning of the domestic cereal culture in the Near East,’ explains Dani Nadel.
Beer now no longer holds any secrets from us!