Were Our Ancestors Drunkards?

The other day I walked into a supermarket only to be greeted by aisle after aisle of alcoholic beverages which indicates there is something about getting people intoxicated that is very human. Patrick McGovern, an expert on tracing the history of alcohol believes our ancestors turned to agriculture in order to obtain ingredients for alcohol. Most probably, some character picked up fermented fruit, put it in his mouth, and immediately became a candidate for Alcoholic Anonymous. McGovern’s study of a Neolithic village in China reveals every place of living in the village had pots into which some alcoholic beverage had been placed– and drunk up. “Available evidence,” says McGovern, “sugests that our ancestors in Asia, Mexico and Africa cultivated wheat, rice, corn and barley primarily for the purpose of producing alcoholic beverages.”

I wonder if they had people like our defenders of purity around in those neolithic villages. Were there guardians of morality who made certain no one got intoxicated, and, if they did and blundered into someone’s path they most probably got locked up in the local villages jail.

Well, to keep things straight, my ancestors were Neanderthals and we had standards of morality which forbid allowing intoxicating beverages into our homes. That is why you Cro-Magnons finally beat us– how can you defeat a bunch of inebriated humans?