Archaeologists have found what they believe is the oldest site in the world for the production of alcohol.
The site is located in the Raqefet cave, south of Haifa, in northern Israel, which also served as a burial site for the Natufian people.
They believe that the beer type drink was served in ceremonies about 13,000 years ago.
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Archaeologists are inspecting what they believe is the oldest site in the world for alcohol production, south of the Israeli city of Haifa in a cave dating back 13,000 years.
"If we are right, this is the first testament in the world about the production of alcohol of any kind," Dani Nadel, professor of archeology at the University of Haifa, told AFP.
"We know what the Natufians did in the cave, they buried some of their dead on a platform of flowers and plants, and apparently they also produced a liquid similar to a soup, an alcoholic beverage.
According to Dr. Nadel, the liquid was "different from today's beer" and probably much weaker, "but fermented."
Three small wells, or mortars, that had been carved on the surface of Raqefet's cave were discovered, according to the article published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports & # 39 ;.
Two of the small stone mortars were for storing grain, and the third for beating and preparing grains before fermentation, the study found.
The mortars were about 40-60 centimeters (one-two feet) deep.
The location of the mortars in the burial caves implies that the drink was "apparently connected to the ceremonies, or some kind of social event," said Dr. Nadel.
The site (pictured) is located in the Raqefet cave south of Haifa in northern Israel today, which also served as a burial site for the Natufian people
In the photo is the site of the cave. The Natufians were hunter-gatherers who lived in the eastern Mediterranean region 15,000 to 11,500 years ago, and began to settle instead of wandering from one place to another.
According to the article, published with researchers from Stanford University in the United States, innovations in brewing "preceded the emergence of domesticated cereals for several millennia in the Near East."
The Natufians were hunter-gatherers who lived in the eastern Mediterranean region 15,000 to 11,500 years ago, and began to settle instead of wandering from one place to another.
They were "the last in the region to live in a different way from the villages with which we are familiar," Nadel said.
The efforts made to produce the alcoholic beverage showed the importance of drinking in the Natufian culture, he said.