Sumerian Beer May Have Been Alcohol-Free

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The fermented cereal beverage enjoyed by Sumerians, so-called Sumerian beer, may have been alcohol-free, suggests a recent review of ancient Sumerian practices.

While ancient writings and vessel remnants show that Mesopotamia's inhabitants were fond of fermented cereal juice, how the brew was actually made is still a mystery.

To investigate the brewing technologies of Mesopotamia, the late Peter Damerow, a historian of science and cuneiform-writing scholar at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, reviewed archaeological finds of ancient beer production and consumption, as well as 4000-year-old cuneiform writings, which included Sumerian administrative documents and literary texts dealing with myths and legislation....

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