How these guys weren’t THE MOST POPULAR DUDES IN ALL OF ANCIENT HISTORY escapes me.
George Armelagos and Mark Nelson found something awesome in the bones of ancient Nubians they examined. -Thorough, pervasive, long-term evidence of tetracycline intake!
Yup, they had happened upon a few of the microbes that flourish in their environment, which also turned out to make the antibiotic in their beer.
It’s unfortunately likely the antibiotic was an accident, as any sane man’s primary purpose in life is to ingest beer;
and then give some to the ladies, too.
But once they got ahold of it, the scientists think they knew exactly what they were doing, as every single specimen they examined was saturated with the stuff; even the 4-year-old child.
-Though to be fair to the Nubians, if they had to get the kid loaded just to shut him up and stop whining, why not toss him a Bud Light or 2?
It’s interesting to imagine back in time like an archaeologist and guess at what they would have thought.
-Would the Nubians valued it for the color Gold; -which the tetracycline-producing-bacteria produced? Would they have been revered as the healthiest, most impervious dudes of their time anywhere? -“What is it with those Nubians, man?! They just do NOT get sick! -EVER!” Would that one discovery, which they happily replicated become the source of a lasting and wealthy Empire? Did any of them get to hang out and toss back a couple mugs of that Super-Beer with Cleopatra?
On a different note, I guess this is how some Traditions and Superstitions are made; -just like the early Food-Safety methodologies of Koshering, Biblical-directives, etc. -You happen upon something that works and then you ritualize it; because it keeps you alive.
It’s a shame that somehow the recipe was lost or forgotten for all this time, until Armelagos & Nelson did the archaeo-biology bone research and published their paper.
-Which George even published as early as 1980, but was met with a ton of skepticism. There’s even a FindArticles link in the “More Coverage” to a piece he wrote back in 2000.
File this under MOST AWESOME ACCIDENTS IN SCIENCE!!!
“My Beer”, by Mattox
N Superman Logo, by Superman Graphics, Superman Graphics’ DeviantArt Page
• Source: Brief communication: Mass spectroscopic characterization of tetracycline in the skeletal remains of an ancient population from Sudanese Nubia 350–550 CE
• via: A Schooner Of Science
• More Coverage: Take Two Beers and Call Me in 1,600 Years