Beer brewing practices existed in the Eastern Mediterranean over five millennia before the earliest known evidence, discovered in northern China
Stone mortars discovered in the Raqefet Cave within the 13,000-year old Natufian burial cave site in Israel suggest in brewing cereal-based beer millennia before the establishment of sedentary villages and cereal agriculture. The Natufians at Raqefet Cave collected locally available plants, stored malted seeds, and made beer as a part of their rituals.
The use-wear patterns and micro-botanical assemblage suggest that two of the three examined boulder mortars were used as storage containers for plant foods including wheat/barley malts. The findings, published in the Journal of Archeological Science, came from an archaeological collaboration project between Stanford University in the United States, and University of Haifa, Israel.