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In the Land of Ninkasi : A History of Beer in Ancient Mesopotamia - Tate Paulette

In the Land of Ninkasi

A History of Beer in Ancient Mesopotamia

By: Tate Paulette

Hardcover | 28 August 2024

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A feast for beer geeks and history buffs alike, In the Land of Ninkasi tells the story of the world's first great beer culture. In this authoritative but light-hearted account of beers gone by, archaeologist Tate Paulette brings the famous "land between the rivers" back to life in vivid detail. We meet not only the beers of ancient Mesopotamia, but also the people who brewed them and drank them, the places where these people lived and worked, the taverns and temples and tombs where they did their drinking, the stories they told about beer, their preferred styles of drinking, their brewing equipment and drinking paraphernalia, the gods and goddesses who governed their lives and who were also partial to a drink. Rigorous in its scholarship, yet staunchly unpretentious in style, this beer-centered travel guide for a trip back in time offers a clear roadmap into the ancient source material for those who are new to Mesopotamia. Paulette weaves together insights drawn from archaeological remains, ancient works of art, and cuneiform texts. He uses a series of narrative vignettes and thought experiments to interrogate specific pieces of evidence and pull the reader, step-by-step, into the process of analysis and interpretation, explaining exactly what we know and how we know it. Readers will come away with a new appreciation for the depth of our knowledge about this early beer-drinking culture, painstakingly pieced together by generations of dedicated scholars. They will also encounter plenty of unknowns: enigmatic evidence that defies explanation, unresolved debates, puzzles that remain to be solved. For those who prefer their history in liquid form, Paulette also recounts some of his own experiences recreating ancient beer and provides a series of brew-it-yourself recipes to try at home.
Industry Reviews
Equally engaging to scholars of the ancient Near East as to general readers of food history, this book serves up a uniquely captivating origins story of an unassuming beverage that changed the fate of humanity. * Gojko Barjamovic, Harvard University *
Tate Paulette's In the Land of Ninkasi is a tour-de-force journey back in time to the beginnings of beermaking. He has made early Mesopotamian beers of all kinds understandable to homebrewer, scholar, and everyday drinker alike. * Patrick E. McGovern, Author of Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created *
Paulette has written the essential book for beer lovers and ancient history lovers alike. His accessible writing style places you into the world of ancient Mesopotamia and, like a detective picking up 4000-year-old clues, he pieces together history and recipes for some of the world's oldest brews. Many have touched on the topic of Mesopotamian beer but never in such depth nor shared the history in such an engaging manner. * Max Miller, Creator and host of the Tasting History web-show *

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