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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dionysos On Crete

Perhaps the conjunction of bulls and the mead (and later wine) of Dionysos on Crete are more intimately related than I had previously thought.

There is a mythos of fermentation of mead being performed in a sac made of cow or bovine hide and sewn up for a certain period of time. It is possible that this describes the first fermentation vats. Such sacs of hide are acknowledged means of transport of wines and such, but the fermentation process may also have anciently occurred in such items.

Bulls are ruminants; that is, they have large bellies of four chambers, the first of which is the rumen, which is a fermentation vat, containing billions of microbes which anaerobically break down the ingested plant material before it is enzymatically digested by the ruminant bull.
Perhaps this process was observed at some point in some ritual sacrifice.

So the process of fermentation is right at hand in the past as well as today, and perhaps the ancient scientists of nutrition noticed and investigated over time.


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