Civilization and Medicinal Uses

1. How is the discovery of beer linked to the emergence of the first civilization?

A: The discovery of beer is linked to the emergence of the first civilizations because, a change happened around 12,000 years ago when the nomads deserted there migratory ways, settled down and took up farming. When they began to farm and collect grains that’s when beer was discovered. Therefore beer is linked to the first civilizations emergence by the sudden adoption of farming.

2. How is the production of beer an example of plant domestication?

A: For something to be domesticated it has to be grown or breed for a specific purpose. Well the plants/grains used to make beer were given just that, a purpose to be grown.

3. What sources does Standage use to gather his information on beer?

A: Ballinger, Clint. “Beer Production in the Ancient Near East.” Unpublished paper,  personal communication.

Baron, Stanley. Brewed in America: A History of Beer and Ale in the United States. Boston: Little, Brown, 1962

4. What were some of the uses for beer?

A: Beer was as a currency but it was also used medicinally. The workers that built the pyramids were paid in beer and bread, the standard amount each worker got was three or four loafs of bread and two jugs (contains eight liters). Tablets from the Egyptian records that date back to 2100 BCE contains list that different medicinal uses for beer.

“The Ebers Papyrus” yet another medical text for the uses of beer that dates around 1550 BCE , contains many recipes for the medicinal uses of beer but combined with other ingredients . Half an onion mixed with beer was said to cure constipation.

5. How did beer civilize man according to Standage?

A: “Beer permeated the lives of Egyptians and Mesopotamians from the cradle to the grave. Their enthusiasm for it was almost inevitable because of the emergence of complex societies, the need to keep written records, and the popularity of beer all from surplus of grain.” (Standage, 39)

What he is saying here is that no one could over look or avoid there excitement for the beer because it brought out more civilized societies, made them keep up with written records to pass down the process to make the beer, and that beer became so popular and so available because of the numerous counts of grains that they had access to know that they had taken up farming and gathering.

6. Explain the relationship between beer writing, commerce, and health?

A: Beer and writings relationship is that in order for the process of making beer to not only be remembered but also passed down generations, the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians had to make clay tablets. These had the processes, medicinal uses, and ingredients written on their faces. Beer and commerce’s relationship was created when both civilizations used beer as a currency.

They used this beverage as means of payment for the builders of the Great Pyramids. On that note this is why the builders on the third Giza pyramid were known as the “Drunkards of Menkaure”. Lastly, Beer and healthy relationships come from both civilizations use of this beverage for medicinal purposes. They used ingredients mixed with beer to cure a wide variety of illnesses or discomforts.


1. How did the use of wine differ from the use of that in ancient Greece and Rome?

A: Wine was seen as a symbol of wealth, he chose not the usual Mesopotamian culture beverage but the elegant wine. Carved stone shows him drinking wine from a bowl not beer. Beer was not used that much for gathering and fest although it was provided, guest would choose the new drink over there native beer. It was regarded as an exotic drink and it high price and sacristy made it worthy of the gods themselves.

2. What did drinking wine symbolize in ancient Greece and Rome?

A: Drinking wine in ancient Rome and Greece was an emblem of power, prosperity, and privilege.

3. How was wine consumed? Is this similar to or different from beer consumption in Mesopotamia/Egypt?

A: The Pharaohs tasted the wine and made their own vineyards near the deltas of the Nile, for this was a place with rich soil. They made it to where the production outside of their own vineyards was limited. However in Mesopotamia the elegant yet powerful wine was restricted only to that of the wealthy because of the lands incapability to support larger surpluses of the wine.

4. How did the use of wine differ in the

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