Beer vs. Bread

Ruminations of a Wordsmith-anthropologist

Greg’s blog, 2009-present

TO ME, THE MOST INTRIGUING of all human interest stories is the age-old archaeological dilemma over beer versus bread. It might seem surprising that this branch of anthropology, best known for academics quietly sifting through dirt, gets pretty feisty about this debate. Archaeologists generally agree that humanity shifted from nomadic hunter-gatherers to settled agricultural societies for the benefit of harvesting grains. But the rift centers around the specific use of those grains.

Whether civilization began for the reliable sustenance of bread or the unpredictable epiphanies of booze, for me the question extends into all walks of life. I see this tug-of-war between the sensible and the sensational in the flickering images of film and art, in other writers’ work, in effective marketing strategy, in music, and in just about anything thoughtful humans wrap their minds around. … Read more at Beer vs. Bread.