Monday, August 2, 2004

Ah, the wisdom of the ancients

Ancient brewery uncovered in Peru (MSNBC - 30 July 2004 - Don Babwin)

A team of scientists from Chicago’s Field Museum in July uncovered a brewery in the mountains of southern Peru, where members of the Wari Empire made an alcoholic beerlike drink called chicha more than 1,000 years ago. ...

Scientists have long known the Wari made the spicy drink, but nothing on the scale of the brewery they just found. Based on the brewing room that contained the pieces of several 10- to 15-gallon ceramic preparation vats, Williams estimates the facility could produce as much as a few thousand liters of chicha a day.

The brewery was found during the excavation of Cerro Baul, a mountaintop city about 8,000 feet (2,440 meters) above sea level that was active from A.D. 600 to 1000 and had a population of about 1,000 to 2,000. ...

Williams said scholars believe that the elite members of the Wari Empire who lived in the city played host to large gatherings. They invited subordinates from throughout the empire, which stretched from northern Peru to southern Peru, roughly the distance from New York to Jacksonville, Fla.

I've heard this chicha is some pretty stern stuff. I imagine even the uninvited could get a nice buzz if they played the winds right.

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