(CNN)An archeological find in China may be the first evidence that beer was an important product in China many years before the experts originally thought. It may have even inspired the development of a sophisticated society.
Archeologists from Stanford University unearthed what they think is an ancient brewery at the Mijiaya site in China’s Shaanxi province. Their findings were published in the latest edition of PNAS.
The team found two subterranean pits with beer-making equipment that included funnels, pots and amphorae holding the residue of what probably was 5,000-year-old beer.
“The shapes and styles of the vessels show stylistic similarities to the brewing equipment in the historical period and modern ethnographic records,” said study co-author Jiajing Wang.
The archeologists believe the pits would have acted like an ancient cooler, helping in the beer-making process and with storage.