Paying it Forward

So I wound up not having as much time as I thought I would this weekend – so no new content this week.

That frees me up to advertise someone else.

Waaaaaaaay back, when I first decided to start exploring Viking-era ale production, I ran across some archaeological work by a woman named Merryn Dineley. She’s done a lot of work on Neolithic brewing, and her thesis is one hell of a read. This work is a very large part of what inspired me to dive into this research, and I’ve had the pleasure of communicating with Merryn about her work over the past year or so – digging into the nitty-gritty of unearthing ancient brewing techniques.

Together with her husband Graham (a craft brewer of many years’ experience), they’re working on reconstructing a vision of ancient brewing all the way through the Viking age.

Some of you Facebookers may recognize those names – they recently published a poster summarizing their work in researching Viking brew houses. It’s been making the rounds on Twitter and such – I guess that’s what happens when you tell a bunch of archaeologists they’ve been wrong for years!

It’s funny – in my perusal of many archaeological publications, I’ve been largely underwhelmed by the “understanding” of brewing in the archaeological community. It’s pretty clear to me that the vast majority of these researchers aren’t brewers, and they very frequently don’t understand the science behind the process. Many of these papers are riddled with unfounded or erroneous conclusions, and there is insight to be gained with a more complete scientific understanding.

Merryn and Graham know their stuff. Their work is very interesting, and if my blog interests you, check out theirs too.

And if you’re really interested in experimental archaeology, you should check out the Experimental Archaeology Conference.

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