Early Alcohol and Wine in Human Civilization

Keven Jasey December 29, 2016 Comments Off on Early Alcohol and Wine in Human Civilization
Early Alcohol and Wine in Human Civilization

Nearly every culture in the world has some kind of Jabs Bar culture or history of alcohol.  Indeed, the potable has been around for several million years, with some scholars dating its origin to the Neolithic Era. This puts the birth of alcohol—at least in some circles—around 10,000 BC.  Other early civilizations have evidence of alcohol, though at much later times:  3150 BC in Egypt, 3000 BC in Babylon, 2000 BC in pre-Hispanic Mexico, and 1500 BC in Sudan.


While we have no way of really knowing when, exactly, alcohol first came into existence, scientific chemical tests on residue taken from ancient jars dating back to the neolithic Jiahu village in Northeaster China do suggest that fermented beverages might have been around at this time. These drinks would have been made from grapes, honey, rice, and even hawthorn berries at some point, roughly, between 7,000 and 6600 BC.  It has also become apparent that people in the Middle East were making similar concoctions out of barley and grape around the same time.

In Sumeria and Egypt, texts dating to around 2100 BC make mention of alcohol, but only used as a form of medicine.  You can even find recommendations for serving alcoholic beverages to those with depression or maybe those facing pending death as a means to forget misery, in the Hebrew Bible.


Wine, of course, is one of the oldest beverages known to Man, particularly because the evidence seems to confirm that we first started making wine—as we know it today, at least—not long after the evidence shows for the earlier forms of alcohol. Indeed, history suggests wine came about in the country of Georgia about 6,000 BC.  In addition, the earliest confirmed evidence of wine production dates to roughly 5400 BC.

While wine must have certainly been produced since then it does not really make a significant appearance on the timeline again until, around 1 BC, in Classical Greece. Obviously, both the ancient Greeks and Romans consumed wine, albeit their versions were diluted from the wine we know today.

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