China's Fermented Past
"Thank you so much again for your interesting and informative newsletter. However, as before, I must take issue with the assertion that this Chinese concoction is the "oldest known wine." The Book of Genesis is the Book of Beginnings and it records how "Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine, and was drunken" (Genesis 9:20-21a). Thus, Noah, whose family alone had survived the Universal Deluge, and whose sons and their descendants built postdiluvian culture on earth, produced the first wine and the first intoxicant in recorded human history. The Chinese and the Iranians and all the other ancient vintners must have come along later."
First Known Writer
The same issue of Science News reports on the idea that ancient moths native to western Europe and Asia produced the first silk. According to Irene Good, a specialist in fiber analysis and anceint textile production at Harvard's Peabody Museum, some textiles survived the ravages of time because they were in "arid, freezing, or low oxygen environments, such as well-sealed tombs."