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'History Frontiers' explores ancient fermented drinks

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The October lecture for “History Frontiers” is “Uncorking the Past: The Quest For Wine, Beer and Extreme Fermented Beverages,” by Dr. Patrick E. McGovern of University of Pennsylvania, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Duane Smith Auditorium. A book sale and signing by Dr. McGovern will be offered after the lecture.
Fermented beverages have probably been with the human race from its beginning in Africa.
McGovern will describe how enterprising ancestors were in concocting a host of beverages from a vast array of natural products (honey, grape, barley, rice, sorghum, chocolate, etc.) as humans spread around the planet, which had profound effects on cultural and biological development.
Some of these beverages, including the earliest alcoholic beverage from China (Chateau Jiahu), the mixed drink served at the King Midas funerary feast (Midas Touch) and the chocolate beverage (Theobroma), have been re-created by Dogfish Head Brewery, shedding light on how ancestors made them and providing a taste sensation and a means to travel back in time.
Dr. McGovern directs the Biomolecular Archaeology Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, where he is also an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Consulting Scholar in the Near East Section.


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