Get ready for St. Paddy’s Day weekend with a special encore of Miller Time in Ancient Mesopotamia: The Origins of Beer Brewing in the Cradle of Civilization. Then, get your Irish on!
Mesopotamia, known as the cradle of civilization, has long been the focus of archaeologists studying the origins of domestication and farming. The latest in food based studies in this area (contemporary southern Iraq), centers on a unique project that merges some of the earliest Bronze Age texts with advanced geochemical techniques and residue studies to examine the origins of beer brewing. The project was initiated by several graduate students at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, together with the owner of the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland. While this study is sure to capture the attention of the beer drinking public, it also has ramifications bearing on patterned changes in food and drink production, consumption, and distribution through time. Our special guest is PhD student Tate Paulette, one of the chief architects of this study who offers a unique perspective on the evolution of a key recreational libation that is much older than many of us ever imagined.