Education: History With Gusto

Many a beery bull session has ended in toasts asserting that this is what civilized life is all about. The theory does not always survive morning light. But Anthropologist Solomon Katz believes civilization may indeed have begun with the first beer. Ten thousand years ago, man the hunter-gatherer settled down to civilized crop raising. Just why has never been clear, however. Katz, 47, who hoists a civilizing glass or two himself, argues in the University of Pennsylvania's anthropology magazine that one key was the accidental fermenting of a beer from cereal grains.

This new brew, says Katz, not only tasted great...

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