When a prehistoric burial site in a cave along with a verifiable brewery having traces of wheat and barley-based alcohol was found in stone mortars carved into the cave floor was discovered near Haifa in Israel, it was thought that alcoholic drinks predated agriculture when primates ate fermenting fruit which later on gave them the ability to make alcohol in limited amount. Jars of the Neolithic period from Henan province in China showed traces of fermented beverage on chemical analysis. Similar findings from that period have also been found in the Middle East.

The medicinal use of alcohol was mentioned in Sumerian and Egyptian texts dating around 2000 BC. The Code of Hammurabi in ancient Babylon around 1750 BC mentions fair trade in alcohol but there was no mention of penalties for drunkenness.

Records of the 1st century BC showed that wine was freely consumed in Greece and Rome at that time. Alcoholic beverages were very common in Europe during the medieval....

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