“Antibiotic” Beer Gave Ancient Africans Health Buzz

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 16, 2005   View Article

Humans have been downing beer for millennia. In certain instances, some drinkers got an extra dose of medicine, according to an analysis of Nubian bones from Sudan in North Africa.

George Armelagos is an anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. For more than two decades, he and his colleagues have studied bones dated to between A.D. 350 and 550 from Nubia, an ancient kingdom south of ancient Egypt along the Nile River.

The bones, the researchers say, contain traces of the antibiotic tetracycline.

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