Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will host a lecture by archaeologist Patrick McGovern on ancient brewing, Dec. 6, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. in the Knox Room, Long Hall. Following the lecture, attendees are invited to a beer tasting.

McGovern—the scientific director at the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia—will present “Uncorking the Past: The Biomolecular Archaeology of Wines, Beers, and Extreme Beverages.”

He will discuss the role of biomolecular analysis in his research on ancient brewing, which began with materials excavated by the University of Pennsylvania at Gordion in central Turkey, the ancestral home of King Midas. Analyzing residues from a funeral feast dated to 700 BCE, McGovern discovered the ingredients of a mixed beverage—combining grape wine, barley beer, and honey mead—that is now in production by Dogfish Head Brewery. Subsequent work on materials excavated at Jiahu in the Yellow River Valley of China, dated to 7000 BCE, as well as Egypt, Central America, and Europe have yielded diverse and revealing recipes that are also in current production. The talk will touch on a range of topics illuminated by biomolecular archaeology: human ancestry and genetic development, agriculture and diet, health and medical practice, trade, religion, and the arts.

Two of Professor McGovern’s books, Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages (2010) and Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (2006), will be available for purchase.

The Bible Lands Museum will be open 6:30-7:15 p.m. and after the lecture. The lecture and reception to follow are free and open to the public. For those of age, tastes of Midas Touch, Chateau Jiahu, and Ta Henket will be available. Register online at www.testsite.pts.edu/tasting or call 412-924-1395 Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. if you plan to join the tasting. Registration for the tasting is limited.

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a graduate professional institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Founded in 1794, the Seminary is located in Pittsburgh, Pa. and approximately 300 students are enrolled yearly in the degree programs. The Seminary prepares leaders who proclaim with great joy God’s message of good news in both word and deed. PTS is rooted in the Reformed history of faithfulness to Scripture and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.