Archaeologists now use modern day recreations to test theories about their discoveries. The latest example of this is brewing. This practice was more widespread in Ireland during the Bronze Age than expected:
The research, which is to be published in Archaeology Ireland magazine next month, focuses on the 4,500 "fulacht fiadhs" (pits or recesses), which date from 1,500 BC and are dotted across the island.
Studies of residues found at prehistoric sites in the Far East have dated beer back to 5,000 BC. But the Moore Group claims the proliferation of fulacht fiadhs in Ireland suggests ancient brewing on an unprecedented scale.
"It means that there were up to 4,500 breweries in Ireland in the Bronze Age, which means it was the most widespread brewing industry in prehistory in the world," Mr Moore said.
The final product was similar to a weiss beer and eminently drinkable. The discovery that civilisations are more sophisticated than expected has been part of the shift away from that older movement of discrete steps towards advancement.