Aarhus Universitets segl

Beer, malt and agriculture

Main subject area: Crop biology and evolution, barley/malt/beer analysis

Short project description

In early prehistory all humans were hunters and gatherers. Humans exploited many species in nature in different ways, and we must assume that the knowledge of animal and plant characteristics was very broad with a significant exploitation of many different animals and plants and a distinct understanding of diversity and biological systematics. Independently at different times in prehistory, agricultural cultures emerged, where a few species gradually became part of the household economy. This process is called domestication. Wild animals became livestock, and wild plants became crops, which were sown, culti-vated, harvested, stored and used in the household and in trade. In southern Scandinavia, this process began about 6000 years ago when agriculture with its crops, livestock and associated advanced tech-nology and culture emerged. The first crops in southern Scandinavia were emmer and barley. It has been hypothesized that the production of beer or similar beverages from these cereals may have played a particularly important role for the motivation of crop production in this part of prehistory. This project examines starch from grains and other prehistoric finds as indicators of malt and alcoholic beer/bever-age production. Experimental beer brewing is reconstructed based on archaeological finds, to explore how brewing techniques may have been carried out in the past.

Department and supervisor

Project start

Any time

Physical location of project and students work

AU Flakkebjerg & collaboration with The Danish National Museum

Extent and type of project

45 ECTS: Experimental theses in which the student is responsible for collection and analysis of his/her own original data

60 ECTS: Experimental theses in which the student is responsible for planning, trial design and collection and analysis of his/her own original data

Additional information