The only way to really conduct this research is from an archaeological point of view, as going of literature can be misleading or even false. We all know the Romans, Vikings and even monks here in the UK, were producing wines around two to three thousand years ago, but the aforementioned discoveries show that tribes in China were intentionally making intoxicating liquor far further back into the annals of time.
Indeed, although the producers of these very first wines will have enjoyed the results of drinking their tipple, there is strong evidence to suggest this could have been used for medicinal purposes too.
The Egyptians certainly agreed with this ethos.
There is strong chemical evidence to suggest that vessels of an alcohol-based liquid was placed in the tomb of Pharoah Scorpion I. Grape wine most likely sourced from the Jordan River Valley has been all but confirmed to be present and this could have had a range of purposes from superstition or to keep evil spirits away from the Pharoahs corpse.
There are documents available that suggest that the Egyptians were well aware of chemical compounds present in many plants that aided the fermentation process and used these on their skin also, suggesting their empire could have done a lot to revolutionise the spread of alcohol production.
Still today, we drink through a cold or perhaps a niggling injury only to find our symptoms numbed albeit temporarily and with less medicines and remedies available back in the day, this is likely to have been even more the case thousands of years before Christ.
Patrick McGovern, Biomolecular Archaeologist at University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology states that; “Alcohol was the universal drug,”
“It’s a mysterious beverage that tastes good and provides energy; it’s a social lubricator with mind-altering effects, and it has all these medical properties.”