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Submission + - The Archaeology of Beer (

cold fjord writes: The Atlantic reports, "Dr. Pat McGovern, a biomolecular archeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology ... explains his process to me. “We always start with infrared spectrometry,” he says. “That gives us an idea of what organic materials are preserved.” From there, it’s on to tandem liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, sometimes coupled with ion cyclotron resonance, and solid-phase micro-extraction gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The end result? A beer recipe. Starting with a few porous clay shards or tiny bits of resin-like residue from a bronze cup, McGovern is able to determine what some ancient Norseman or Etruscan or Shang dynast was drinking ... Details will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Danish Journal of Archaeology. But if your curiosity is more immediate ... head to a nearby wine-and-beer store and request a bottle of the most recent Ancient Ale from Dogfish Head. The Delaware-based brewery ... collaborated with McGovern to make ... a brew that was inspired by the residue found on pottery fragments in a 2,700-year-old tomb in Turkey. Dogfish Head has since re-created six other defunct potables ... based on archeological finds in China, Honduras, Peru, Egypt, Italy, and now Scandinavia. Its re-creation of Nordic grog, Kvasir ..."
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The Archaeology of Beer

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