The Past on Tap: Archaeology, Beer and Science Education – Bettina Arnold

Bettina Arnold presents a lecture on the archaeology and history of brewing in antiquity entitled The Past on Tap: Archaeology, Beer and Science Education. Lecture was part of the Master Chats Series for Advanced Learning held at the UWM Gold Meier Library on February 7, 2020.

Recent discoveries from Germany and France have provided new evidence for Iron Age feasting activity. Extensive drinking sets made of gold, silver, iron and especially bronze are rare but more modest assemblages in burials suggest that the consumption of mood-altering substances was wide-spread in pre-Roman European societies. Residue analysis of bronze vessels has produced paleobotanical evidence mainly for malt and honey-based beverages but emerging technologies in the area of proteomic analysis have now made it possible to analyze the contents of ceramic vessels as well as those made of metal and will impact our understanding of feasting and drinking in these early European societies. This lecture will present these new archaeological analyses as well as the potential uses of experimental archaeology in this area of research, which has begun to replicate some of these beverages, providing us with a better sense of the extremely varied flavor-scapes associated with power drinking in the west-central European Iron Age.