Oldest evidence of beer found in Iraq
Archaeologists have found traces of beer in Iraq, dating back 2,500 years to ancient Mesopotamia and the Babylonian Empire. While texts from those forgotten days speak of fermented drinks, this is the “oldest direct evidence” of beer discovered, Smithsonian reported. Now, the archaeologists who have discovered traces are trying to replicate the recipe in the modern era.
Elsa Perruchini, the lead author on the study announcing the discovery, used a process called gas chromatography, which has never before been used to identify beer residue in ancient remains. It allowed her to see past contamination like sunscreen from archaeologists working on the dig to identify different compounds in the remains. Barley residue from beer was discovered in clay pots, as well as signs of fermentation.
Past research has uncovered hints that beer existed, like signs of a Mesopotamian brewery dating back 4,000 years, but it was never as conclusive as Perruchini’s discovery of fermented barley compounds.