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Elite Women Made Beer In Pre-Incan Culture
Yahoo News ^ | 11-14-2005 | Robert Roy Britt

Posted on 11/17/2005 11:37:58 AM PST by blam

Elite Women Made Beer in Pre-Incan Culture

Robert Roy Britt

Mon Nov 14, 6:00 PM ET

An ancient brewery from a vanished empire was staffed by elite women who were selected for their beauty or nobility, a new study concludes.

The finding adds to other evidence that women played a more crucial role in ancient Andean societies than history books have stated. It may also in some ways reflect modern drinking traditions in the Andean mountains, where women get drunk as much as men, researchers say.

The brewery, on a mountaintop in southern Peru, cranked out hundreds of gallons of beer every week. The 1,000-year-old facility was part of the Wari empire, which predated the Incas.

The final days

Archeologists have pieced together the last days before the city was evacuated for unknown reasons. A final batch of chicha, as the drink is called, was prepared. A week later, nobility drank the chicha as part of a big feast and ceremony. More than two dozen precious ceramic vessels -- the chicha mugs -- were tossed into embers of a fire and smashed as sacrifices to the gods.

Then the residents mysterious fled.

"Our analyses indicate that this specialty brew was a high-class affair," said Patrick Ryan Williams, Curator of Anthropology at the Field Museum and co-author of the research report. "Corn and Peruvian pepper-tree berries were used to make the beer, which was drunk from elaborate beakers up to half a gallon in volume."

Water had to be brought up from a thousand feet below the city's 8,000-foot mountaintop perch.

Archaeologists have spent years excavating the remnants of the city, which sits on a mesa called Cerro Baúl. The latest findings were published Monday in the online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Evidence left behind

Inside the brewery, which was first discovered and announced last year, researchers have since found several elegant metal shawl pins sprawled across the floor. The pins were not found elsewhere in the city.

"The brewers were not only women, but elite women," Donna Nash, an adjunct curator at the Field Museum and part of the study team, said Monday. "They weren't slaves, and they weren't people of low status. So the fact that they made the beer probably made it even more special."

It's not clear why the shawl pins were on the floor. But the brewery would have been warm from the fires used to heat brewing urns. "Perhaps the heat forced the brewers to remove their shawls, and the pins were lost in the process," speculates Williams.

It's also possible the women left the pins as part of a going-away ceremony.

Evidence shows the brewery was set afire, then the ceremonial mugs were tossed into the fire. "Are the women throwing in their shawl pins at the same time guys are throwing their cups? It's a possibility," said Mike Moseley from the University of Florida.

The high-altitude city bordered the rival Tiwanaku empire.

"This is the only place where two empires were making face-to-face contact, and it's that contact that helps explain this site – it's both defensible and very impressive," Moseley said.

Traditions continued

The discovery suggests a precursor to an aspect of Incan society documented by Spanish observers after conquest in the 15th Century: Noble Incan women were that society's top brewers.

Bits of Wari society may have carried forward even to today, says Susan deFrance, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Florida. Modern Andean drinking culture is unlike many Western societies, in which women tend to drink less.

"There's a lot of equality in terms of how men and women drink in the highlands of Andes," deFrance said. "Women will get as rip-roaring drunk, if not more so, than men."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: beer; culture; elite; godsgravesglyphs; made; preincan; wari; women

1 posted on 11/17/2005 11:37:59 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
An ancient brewery from a vanished empire was staffed by elite women who were selected for their beauty or nobility, a new study concludes.

Maybe the beer just made them seem more beautiful.

2 posted on 11/17/2005 11:39:24 AM PST by VRWCmember (hard-core, politically angry, hyperconservative, and loaded with vitriol about everything liberal.)
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To: blam

Probably tasted better than the horse urine that's sold now by American breweries.


3 posted on 11/17/2005 11:41:31 AM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: blam

Perhaps this culture wasn't as primitive as previously believed.


4 posted on 11/17/2005 11:45:17 AM PST by Arm_Bears (If the people lead, the leaders will follow.)
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To: blam
Budlight salutes "Real Inca's of Genius"
5 posted on 11/17/2005 11:49:28 AM PST by YouPosting2Me
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To: blam

Sounds like a cult ritual to me. After they did all this, they ascended into the sky....


6 posted on 11/17/2005 11:49:41 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


7 posted on 11/17/2005 11:49:56 AM PST by blam
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To: Arm_Bears

Clearly you mean Beerlieved LOL


8 posted on 11/17/2005 11:50:24 AM PST by alisasny
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To: Arm_Bears
Perhaps this culture wasn't as primitive as previously believed.

Probably also the first culture with a LooterGuy.

9 posted on 11/17/2005 11:50:51 AM PST by YouPosting2Me
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To: blam

Whereas nowadays elite women just pose for the commercials... :)


10 posted on 11/17/2005 11:52:14 AM PST by Pessimist
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To: YouPosting2Me; alisasny

Ask not what you can do for cold beers; ask what cold beers can do for you.


11 posted on 11/17/2005 11:52:54 AM PST by Arm_Bears (If the people lead, the leaders will follow.)
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To: alisasny

Gives new meaning to the catch-phrase, "Head for the Mountains"
Also, "Beer Goggles"


12 posted on 11/17/2005 11:53:01 AM PST by xroadie
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To: YouPosting2Me

LOLOLOLOL


13 posted on 11/17/2005 11:53:15 AM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: blam

the original st. pauli girls...


14 posted on 11/17/2005 11:54:04 AM PST by ameribbean expat
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To: blam

Read a few items lately on people making plain old hooch.

All you need is a nice clean new garbage bag, a bunch of fruit juice, and some moldy bread.

Some guy tried it, let it brew for a week, srtained it, tested it with an alco-meter.

14% ethanol. He said it was quite drinkable!


15 posted on 11/17/2005 11:55:21 AM PST by djf (Government wants the same things I do - MY guns, MY property, MY freedoms!)
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To: blam
Incan Women:


16 posted on 11/17/2005 11:56:01 AM PST by Clemenza (Ticking Away the Moments that Make up the Dog Day)
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To: blam; Revolting cat!

Rules are rules.
Elite women, beer, and NO pictures?


17 posted on 11/17/2005 11:56:06 AM PST by ARealMothersSonForever (Proud to be named as a member of the Radical Right Wing. Vast Right Wing got old.)
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To: VRWCmember
"Maybe the beer just made them seem more beautiful."


18 posted on 11/17/2005 11:57:04 AM PST by Jaxter ("Vivit Post Funera Virtus")
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To: blam
An ancient brewery from a vanished empire was staffed by elite women

So "Honey, could you bring me a beer...?" goes back to the Inca's day...

19 posted on 11/17/2005 11:57:57 AM PST by Snardius (The seventh seal has been broken, the goat entrails point toward gotterdamerung, it's on.)
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To: blam
Women will get as rip-roaring drunk, if not more so, than men.

Tequila makes her clothes fall off.

20 posted on 11/17/2005 11:59:04 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: blam; decal
I am happy to report that Mrs knewshound continues the tradition by assisting yours truly in the effort to brew better beer.

The fact that she is gorgeous is a bonus for both tradition and marital bliss.

Cheers,

knews hound

http://knewshound.blogspot.com/
21 posted on 11/17/2005 12:01:13 PM PST by knews_hound (i know my typing sucks, i do it one handed ! (caps are especially tough))
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To: blam

"It's not clear why the shawl pins were on the floor."

Cuz them gals was gettin drunk and neckid.


22 posted on 11/17/2005 12:02:37 PM PST by truth_seeker
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To: blam

"It's not clear why the shawl pins were on the floor. But the brewery would have been warm from the fires used to heat brewing urns. "Perhaps the heat forced the brewers to remove their shawls, and the pins were lost in the process," speculates Williams.

It's also possible the women left the pins as part of a going-away ceremony."

Now thats utter speculation and not even good speculation. Why, there should have been evidence of shawl dust there too.
I know the author is wanting to do a feel good piece about how important women were to the culture but it could have been as simple as the mens saying "Yo! Get me a beer!"


23 posted on 11/17/2005 12:03:24 PM PST by Adder (Can we bring back stoning again? Please?)
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To: blam; quantim; 5Madman2; DTogo; Horatio Gates; Ribeye; decal; B Knotts; doodad; hemogoblin; ...
Brewing ping !

OK Ladies, lets see those pics !

You have a tradition to uphold here !

Brandybux, I will have that recipe for you soon, I had to recreate it.

Cheers,

knews hound

http://knewshound.blogspot.com/
24 posted on 11/17/2005 12:10:09 PM PST by knews_hound (i know my typing sucks, i do it one handed ! (caps are especially tough))
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To: blam
... before the city was evacuated for unknown reasons.

The "real" Incans (Pachacuti, et al) made a habit of conscripting conquered tribes for works projects elsewhere in the empire.

25 posted on 11/17/2005 12:12:09 PM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist; knews_hound

B.Y.O. is the only way to go!


26 posted on 11/17/2005 12:21:24 PM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: Adder
Now that's utter speculation and not even good speculation.

I agree. Even the discovery of the sprawled shawl pins (sprawled?) doesn't prove the brewers were women. Maybe the brewers were men, who had some expensive prostitutes in for a blowout before they evacuated.

27 posted on 11/17/2005 12:29:49 PM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: ARealMothersSonForever
You want elite women? The one standing in the middle is worth $250 mill!


28 posted on 11/17/2005 12:43:47 PM PST by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything.")
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Ouch!


29 posted on 11/17/2005 12:44:24 PM PST by quantim (Just be glad Detroit is not in a hurricane zone.)
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To: blam

Beer, beautiful women.....no wonder nothing got done and the civilization disappeared.


30 posted on 11/17/2005 12:45:41 PM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: Adder
elite women who were selected for their beauty or nobility

"It's not clear why the shawl pins were on the floor. But the brewery would have been warm from the fires used to heat brewing urns. "Perhaps the heat forced the brewers to remove their shawls, and the pins were lost in the process,"

Let's see -- beautiful women, lots of beer, shawls discarded, shawl pins on the floor -- no mystery here. It's an Inca frat party.

31 posted on 11/17/2005 12:50:25 PM PST by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: knews_hound
Chicha is proof the gods love us.

....or something close to that 8>)

32 posted on 11/17/2005 12:56:11 PM PST by Horatio Gates (Beware the Jack Booted Pug)
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To: motormouth

I wonder if they made your beloved IPA?


33 posted on 11/17/2005 12:57:18 PM PST by Fierce Allegiance (Want to be on my Civil Engineers ping list? Just say so!)
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To: blam; All

34 posted on 11/17/2005 1:02:29 PM PST by Flavius (Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum")
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To: blam

We could learn much from the Incas.


35 posted on 11/17/2005 1:03:17 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Revolting cat!

Gotta hand it to the Stones. In their heyday they were nuts!!


36 posted on 11/17/2005 1:04:55 PM PST by beaver fever
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To: VRWCmember

The beer was so bad that the drinkers smashed the flasks it was in and then burned the brewery.


37 posted on 11/17/2005 1:06:10 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Revolting cat!

Looks suspiciously like a "Honkey Tonk Woman"


38 posted on 11/17/2005 1:06:17 PM PST by ARealMothersSonForever (Proud to be named as a member of the Radical Right Wing. Vast Right Wing got old.)
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To: Jersey Republican Biker Chick

Chicks and Beer PING!


39 posted on 11/17/2005 1:09:54 PM PST by DHak (usma '91)
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To: VRWCmember
Maybe the beer just made them seem more beautiful.

*************

LOL!!

40 posted on 11/17/2005 1:13:23 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

41 posted on 11/17/2005 10:35:57 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated my FR profile on Wednesday, November 2, 2005.)
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To: VRWCmember
I think you're onto something.
Yma Sumac

42 posted on 11/17/2005 10:41:08 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated my FR profile on Wednesday, November 2, 2005.)
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To: blam
They had a show on brewing beer on the History Channel last night. Apparently women did most of the brewing in a lot of places in ancient times since it was considered to be like cooking. It wasn't a high honor it was a chore.

There's a lot of equality in terms of how men and women drink in the highlands of Andes

You've come a long way, baby! To get where you've got to today! You've got your own liver failure, baby, you've come a long, long, way!

43 posted on 11/17/2005 10:56:22 PM PST by jordan8
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To: blam
An ancient brewery from a vanished empire was staffed by elite women who were selected for their beauty or nobility, a new study concludes.

Yea, right, a study shows. Study shows nothing other than a possible theory.

44 posted on 11/18/2005 4:58:35 AM PST by Dustbunny (Main Stream Media -- Making 'Max Headroom' a reality.)
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To: blam

Ha. Laverne & Shirley!


45 posted on 11/18/2005 1:35:07 PM PST by Hegemony Cricket (Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof - usually by midmorning, or so.)
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To: jordan8
In England brewing Ale was under the supevision of women, during the middle ages, it tasted like bread, now it is under the supervision of men it tastes like Ale.
46 posted on 11/18/2005 1:42:46 PM PST by Little Bill (A 37%'r, a Red Spot on a Blue State, rats are evil.)
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47 posted on 03/05/2011 5:37:49 AM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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