The article The scholars who look at American History through Beer-Tinted Glasses claimed that an interest in beer history was on the rise. It certainly seems to be happening, what with the amount of talks, conferences, and blogs on the matter. This claim isn't necessarily unique either. Even in his 2006 paper, Alcohol: Anthropological/Archaeological Perspectives, Dr. Michael Dietler states that a scholarly interest in the history of alcohol was on the rise. It is easy for me to assume this is true. I have payed more attention to the topic now than I did five years ago, which gives my assumptions bias.
So to see whether research into alcohol within archaeology is increasing, I’ll be having a look through academic journals to track brewing archaeological articles.
This time: Antiquity
There does seem to be a bit of difference between Antiquity and the Journal of Archaeological Science, which was reviewed last time. Before, there seemed to be an overall increase in the frequency of articles written. For Antiquity, there were a few publications around the 60's, which staggered off until the late 90's. After which, there has been a steady production of one article regarding brewing archaeology - most of it about wine (which I will get back to later).
This paints a different picture than before; this suggests that brewing archaeology is not on the rise. Rather, there is consistent work on the topic in low numbers. Do note, however, this is a limited search. There are plenty of articles on food processing, vessel ceramics, pottery production, and residue analysis. Out of necessity, I only take articles directly relating to alcohol.
The structure of this journal should be taken into account before any conclusions can be made. Since its start in 1927, Antiquity has published four issues every year, with each issue having a range of research articles, method descriptions, debates, and book reviews. Currently, this journal is on Volume 90, issue 354. In 2015, they decided to switch to produce six volumes instead of four.
This structure, then, could be a factor as to why we see this pattern of one article a year. When you have limited production, the editor has to decide on articles with greater impact. With such a limited space, it is easy to imagine that some brewing articles were overlooked.
Other corroborating factors could include:
Yet, however with all things in science, this requires further research. At least, though, there is a clear trend starting to form that suggests brewing archaeology is indeed on the rise:
Luley, B.P. and Piquès, G. (2016) ‘Communal eating and drinking in early Roman Mediterranean France: a possible tavern at Lattara, c. 125–75 BC’, Antiquity, 90(349), pp. 126–142. doi: 10.15184/aqy.2015.184.
Bruhn, J. (2015) ‘Dominic Ingemark . Glass, alcohol and power in Roman Iron Age Scotland. 300 pages, 153 b&w illustrations, 17 colour photographs. 2014. Edinburgh: National Museums Scotland; 978-1-905267-81-1 paperback £35.’, Antiquity, 89(343), pp. 242–243. doi: 10.15184/aqy.2014.20.
Pollard, A.M., Bray, P.J. and Gosden, C. (2014) ‘Is there something missing in scientific provenance studies of prehistoric artefacts?’, Antiquity, 88(340), pp. 625–631. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00101255.
Zori, D., Byock, J., Erlendsson, E., Martin, S., Wake, T. and Edwards, K.J. (2013) ‘Feasting in Viking Age Iceland: sustaining a chiefly political economy in a marginal environment’, Antiquity, 87(335), pp. 150–165. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00048687.
Areshian, G.E., Gasparyan, B., Avetisyan, P.S., Pinhasi, R., Wilkinson, K., Smith, A., Hovsepyan, R. and Zardaryan, D. (2012) ‘The chalcolithic of the Near East and south-eastern Europe: discoveries and new perspectives from the cave complex Areni-1, Armenia’, Antiquity, 86(331), pp. 115–130. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00062499.
Dietrich, O., Heun, M., Notroff, J., Schmidt, K. and Zarnkow, M. (2012) ‘The role of cult and feasting in the emergence of Neolithic communities. New evidence from Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey’, Antiquity, 86(333), pp. 674–695. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00047840.
Jané, M.R.G. (2011) ‘The meaning of wine in Egyptian tombs: the three amphorae from Tutankhamun’s burial chamber’, Antiquity, 85(329), pp. 851–858. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00068356.
Iriarte, J., Gillam, J.C. and Marozzi, O. (2008) ‘Monumental burials and memorial feasting: an example from the southern Brazilian highlands’, Antiquity, 82(318), pp. 947–961. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00097702.
Miller, N.F. (2008) ‘Sweeter than wine? The use of the grape in early western Asia’, Antiquity, 82(318), pp. 937–946. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00097696.
Valamoti, S.M., Mangafa, M., Koukouli-Chrysanthaki, C. and Malamidou, D. (2007) ‘Grape-pressings from northern Greece: the earliest wine in the Aegean?’, Antiquity, 81(311), pp. 54–61. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00094837.
Renfrew, J. (2006) ‘Food and feasting in antiquity’, Antiquity, 80(310), pp. 1000–1003. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X0009459X.
Brown, A.G., Meadows, I., Turner, S.D. and Mattingly, D.J. (2001) ‘Roman vineyards in Britain: stratigraphic and palynological data from Wollaston in the Nene Valley, England’, Antiquity, 75(290), pp. 745–757. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00089250.
Day, P.M. and Wilson, D.E. (1998) ‘Consuming power: Kamares Ware in Protopalatial Knossos’, Antiquity, 72(276), pp. 350–358. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00086622.
Rausing, G. (1997) ‘The wheeled cauldrons and the wine’, Antiquity, 71(274), pp. 994–999. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00085884.
Samuel, D. (1997) ‘McGOVERN PATRICK E. , FLEMING STUART J. & KATZ SOLOMON H. . The origins and ancient history of wine. xxiv+409 pages, 132 illustrations, 13 tables. 1995. Langhorne (PA): Gordon & Breach Publishers: 2-88124-577-3 hardback £55 & $85.’, Antiquity, 71(271), pp. 236–237. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00084799.
Rice, P.M. (1996) ‘Peru’s colonial wine industry and its European background’, Antiquity, 70(270), pp. 785–800. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00084064.
Dronfield, J. (1995) ‘Subjective vision and the source of Irish megalithic art’, Antiquity, 69(264), pp. 539–549. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00081928.
Dickson, J.H. (1978) ‘Bronze age mead’, Antiquity, 52(205), pp. 108–113. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00071921.
Stubbings, F.H. (1966) ‘Zafiropoulo Jean : Mead and Wine: A History of the Bronze Age in Greece (translated from the French by Peter Green). London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1966. 156 pp., 22 pls., 19 figs. 30s.’, Antiquity, 40(159), pp. 240–241. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00032622.
Piggott, S. (1959) ‘A LATE BRONZE AGE WINE TRADE?’, Antiquity, 33(130), pp. 122–123. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00118368.
Food Production in N. Africa (1956) Antiquity, 30(120), pp. 223–224. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00118113.