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In China, a brewery than 5,000 years ago.

The discovery of some terracotta artefacts reveals that the country, today largest producer of beer in the world, is also among those where this drink cereal was appreciated since ancient times.

The most populous nation on Earth currently holds the title of the most prolific producer of beer in the world, and according to some artefacts found in the north of the country, can also boast one of the oldest breweries in the world. The discovery also provides the oldest evidence of the barley presence in China, and suggests that their taste for strong drink may have meant that you began to cultivate it. For all we know, this is the oldest direct evidence of beer production in China. And the discovery of barley is surprising because we did not expect to find it in such ancient times.

In 2004, another group of archaeologists unearthed two underground wells Mijiaya, a site on the banks of a tributary of the river Wei, in the province of Shaanxi. The wells, about 3.5 meters wide and 2.5 deep, housed several terracotta artifacts, including from the mouth large containers, funnels, as well as from the entrance vessels narrow and pointy bottom. Many artifacts presented the yellow residue in the inner surface. Archaeologists had also found in both wells the remains of primitive furnaces.

Based on the particular style of the containers, scholars have deduced that dated back to the late Yangshao, which goes from 3500 to 2900 BC. Identify the cereals used in general for the production of beer is not enough to prove conclusively that this was actually produced. But a subsequent investigation under the microscope showed that the grains had been damaged: the signs on their surface are fully consistent with the typical alterations caused during the malting process. To further confirm the discovery, the researchers subjected to chemical analysis the residue on some containers and discovered a high rate of an oxalate, a byproduct of the fermentation process. In addition, to ensure that the contents of the containers had not suffered contamination, the researchers examined the materials on the outer surface of the artifacts and other fragments within the wells, finding small traces of cereals and no oxalate. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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