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Raising the Dead: New Species of Life Resurrected from Ancient Andean Tomb

Ecuadorian scientists have revived a new species of yeast from pre-Incan tomb, illuminating prehistoric life

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ANCIENT BEER:

  Carvajal has revived ancient yeast from several other sources. Here he is shown pouring a glass of beer that he made from yeast he collected and revived from the fermentation vessel used to make the first beer in America in 1534 by the Franciscan monk Fray Jodoco Ricke.....[ More ]

ANCIENT FERMENTATION VESSEL:

Carvajal takes a series of scrapings one to five millimeters deep from inside an ancient fermentation vessel under sterile conditions to obtain the ancient yeasts that are trapped in the pottery's pores.....[ More ]

HOW TO MAKE IT:

The Indians initiated fermentation of chicha using saliva and human feces. Candida yeast from saliva and human stools initiated fermentation but were inhibited from growing when the alcohol level reached 4 percent.....[ More ]

AN OPEN RECIPE:

Mama Cloinda chef Nelson Cardenas, who makes the chicha daily, shares his recipe for the intoxicating beverage.....[ More ]

CHICHA IS SERVED:

A glass of chicha , made of corn and spices, along with rotten pineapple rind added to start fermentation.....[ More ]

CHICHA TODAY:

Manager of the Mama Clorinda Ecuadorian Food Restaurant in Quito, Roberto Guomo holds a jug of chicha , a fermented corn drink made daily in the restaurant.....[ More ]

FERMENTATION YEAST:

Javier Carvajal Barriga, a biologist at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador in Quito, holds a frozen vile of the new species of yeast, Candida thea , that he collected from the ancient fermentation vessels and revived.....[ More ]

BREWING POTS:

Three-legged pots were used for cooking food, placed directly in a fire pit. A corn mush is cooked in the early steps of making chicha .....[ More ]

TOMB POTS:

Several kinds of pottery are found in the tombs. The largest pots are chicha fermentation vessels. The smaller pots contained corn, potatoes or beans.....[ More ]

QUITUS REMAINS:

The bodies were placed in fetal positions against the walls of the tombs signifying the return to "Mother Earth." About 20 bodies were found in each shaft. These tombs were reserved for elite members of Quitus society, and the bodies were clothed in the finest textile, adorned with gold and accompanied by pottery containing food and chicha offerings for passage into the afterlife.....[ More ]

DEEP-WELLED TOMBS:

Each tomb is about 16 meters deep, dug into volcanic rock. Single, double, triple (pictured) and quadruple shafts have been found.....[ More ]

SITE IN ECUADOR:

Tombs where chicha fermentation vessels were found are buried beneath Quito's Florida neighborhood, overlooking Mariscal Sucre International Airport. Thousands of years ago what is now the site was a lake, and the Quitus Indians lived on its shore from A.D.....[ More ]

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