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Cylinder seal (left) and modern impression (right) showing two people drinking beer through long straws. Khafajeh, Iraq (Early Dynastic period, c. 2600–2350 B.C.). Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Brewing Mesopotamian beer brings a sip of this vibrant ancient drinking culture back to life

Beer was extremely popular in ancient Mesopotamia. Sipped through straws, it differed from today’s beer and was enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
How many times a day do you use soap? Paul Linse/The Image Bank via Getty Images

The dirty history of soap

With hand-washing top of mind, soap is an integral part of keeping clean. But people through the ages relied on earlier forms of soap more for cleaning objects than for personal hygiene.
Pious drinking. Walter Dendy Sadler via Wikimedia Commons

Feeling guilty about drinking? Well, ask the saints

For those wondering whether it is sinful to drink, even moderately, a scholar goes into the history of alcohol and its distillation to show how early monks and priests contributed to it.

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