History of Alcohol

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Written by Inara Hasanali, M.A.  | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Aug 16, 2014
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History of Alcohol

Although the exact date when alcohol was produced remains elusive, the discovery of late ‘Stone Age Beer Jugs’ has established the fact that intentionally fermented beverages existed as early as the Neolithic period.

Wine has appeared in Egyptian pictographs around 4000 B.C. Since prehistoric times a variety of alcoholic beverages have been used in China. The Babylonians considered beer as one of their major beverages. The Sumerians have engraved the art of making beer pictorially. The art of wine making reached the Hellenic peninsula around 2000 B.C.

Alcoholic drinks were an intricate part of most civilization ranging from China and India and Western Asia to Europe.

In India alcoholic beverages appeared during the Indus Valley Civilization, In Hindu Ayurvedic texts both the beneficial and detrimental effects of alcohol have been outlined Distilled spirits originated in India and China around 800 B.C. the distillation process emerged in Europe around the eleventh century.

The Greeks worshipped the God Bacchus - the god of wine and the Romans worshipped the same god under a different name Dionysus. Around 55 B.C. the Romans introduced beer to the Europeans.

Wine became part of rituals with the rise of Christianity. There was a simultaneous spread of viticulture and Christianity in Europe.

It reached the Americas from Europe although by then the natives in America were quite adept at developing their local versions.

During the middle Ages, wine was the preferred beverage and the consumption of alcohol began to spread to all parts of the world. Today it is widely consumed by people all over the world.

References:

  1. Thomas DB, Alcohol as a cause of cancer.The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA. Environ Health Perspect. 1995 November; 103(Suppl 8): 153–160.
  2. This History of Alcohol - (http://www.drug-rehabs.org/alcoholhistory.php)

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