The ancient art of beer
Reconstructing the recipeArchaeologists have reconstructed a 5,000-year-old beer recipe from residues on pottery fragments found in northern China. Scientific analyses have revealed that barley may have been the "secret ingredient" in the ancient beer-making process.
Pictured here is a map of the Mijiaya archaeological site in China's Shaanxi province, where the artifacts were discovered.
The researchers speculated that the pottery assemblages at the Mijiaya site could have been used to make alcohol, mainly because of the presence of funnels (such as the one pictured here) and stoves.
A stove fragment from the Mijiaya site that was probably used to heat the fermenting grain mash during the beer-brewing process.
Archaeologists don't know when beer brewing began in China, but the residues from the 5,000-year-old Mijiaya artifacts represent the earliest known use of barley in the region by about 1,000 years.
Gelatinized starch grains from the funnel used for brewing beer at the Mijiaya site.