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Mara Horowitz Weighs in on Ancient Beer Straws

The anthropological archaeologist agrees the objects are not scepters as previously believed.

Discovered more than a hundred years ago and believed to be ceremonial staffs, a set of silver and gold tubes found in a burial mound are now believed to be a set of ancient drinking straws used to drink beer out of a communal vessel.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies Mara Horowitz, an anthropological archaeologist teaching worldwide ancient history and archaeology, agrees with the new finding.

NBC NEWS: Ancient ‘scepters’ were actually straws for communal boozing, researchers say

“Having a whole set of metal straws placed in the Maikop kurgan is an extraordinary find,” she said.

The discovery shows how such practices could spread between ancient people who were great distances apart, she said.

“It’s very exciting to see the degree of connectivity across the Caucasus at this early date,” she said. “It is in the 3rd millennium B.C. that we have movements of culture and people across the Caucusus in both directions, with major effect on regional cultures.”