Beer in Greece dates back to Bronze Age

beer bronze age

Ancient Greeks might have a reputation for their preference in wine, a product which helped them trade with neighbouring regions and was an integral for feasts or even religious or spiritual rituals, but they also enjoyed a pint of beer! According to a new study based on the discovery of two potential breweries, the history of beer in Greece goes back to the Bronze Age.

beer bronze age

Specifically, stout discoveries suggest that Ancient Greeks had beer-making facilities 3,000 to 4,000 years ago: “It is an unexpected find for Greece, because until now all evidence pointed to wine”, study researcher Tania Valamoti, an associate professor of archaeology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Greece, said in an interview with the website Live Science. The new research data is based on archaeobotanical remains of germinated cereal grains and fragments of grinded cereals from two Bronze Age settlements: Archondiko, Macedonia, and Agrissa, Thessaly.

Both sites had been wrecked by fire, which turned them into time capsules of sorts, Valamoti describes. After the fire, the prehistoric abandoned the settlements, leaving countless burned artifacts behind, including the remains of sprouted cereal grains, dating to the early Bronze Age, from about 2100 to 2000 B.C. at Archondiko and from 2100 to 1700 B.C. at Agrissa. Furthermore, archaeologists have brought to light special cups as well as a two-chambered structure at Archondiko that “seems to have been carefully constructed to maintain low temperatures in the rear chamber, possibly even below 100 degrees Celsius”, Valamoti wrote in the study.

“I am 95 percent sure that they were making some form of beer. Not the beer we know today, but some form of beer”, she adds. Although, despite the fact that the discovery may be the oldest-known evidence of beer in Greece, it is not the oldest in the world, and beer is not the oldest alcohol on record, as wine residue, in Georgia, date back to 6000 B.C.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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