World’s oldest booze from China.

This gets it’s own entry, as this isn’t exactly wine, although I expect the effect was the same if you drank it. It predates the middle Eastern wine by about a thousand years. Link It was found at the Neolithic Jaihu site on the Yellow river in the Henang province in China. The site is remarkable for its proto-writing and ancient bone flutes as well as it’s early forays into brewing alcohol. It also has very early rice cultivation at the site (millet was the norm before).

  jaihuflutes

Jaihu site, Jaihu script (6kya), and the oldest playable musical instruments found, bone flutes (9kya).

A chemist from University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (McGovern; he’s written an interesting book on wine history) analysed potsherds from Jaihu and discovered they had been used to brew a wine like drink from honey, hawthorn or wild grape and rice. The pots dated to between 8,000 and 9,000 years old.

It would be interesting to know just where brewing originated, did it move West from a central Asian point of discovery or was it discovered in multiple locations?

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