Patrick McGovern

scientific director of the biomolecular archaeology laboratory for cuisine, fermented beverages, and health, University of Pennsylvania Museum

Dr. Patrick E. McGovern is the Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology. His academic background combined the physical sciences, archaeology, and history–an A.B. in Chemistry from Cornell University, graduate work in neurochemistry at the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology and Literature from the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Department of the University of Pennsylvania. Over the past two decades, he has pioneered the emerging field of Molecular Archaeology. In addition to being engaged in a wide range of other archaeological chemical studies, including radiocarbon dating, cesium magnetometer surveying, colorant analysis of ancient glasses and pottery technology, his endeavors of late have focused on the organic analysis of vessel contents and dyes, particularly Royal Purple, wine, and beer. The chemical confirmation of the earliest instances of these organics–Royal Purple dating to ca. 1300-1200 B.C. and wine and beer dating to ca. 3500-3100B.C.–received wide media coverage. A 1996 article published in Nature, the international scientific journal, pushed the earliest date for wine back another 2000 years–to the Neolithic period (ca. 5400-5000B.C.). He is the author of Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (Princeton University Press, 2003), and Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages (Berkeley: University of California, 2009) amongst other books an articles.

Dr. Patrick E. McGovern is the Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology. His academic background combined the physical sciences, archaeology, and history–an A.B. in Chemistry from Cornell University, graduate work in neurochemistry at the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology and Literature from the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Department of the University of Pennsylvania. Over the past two decades, he has pioneered the emerging field of Molecular Archaeology. In addition to being engaged in a wide range of other archaeological chemical studies, including radiocarbon dating, cesium magnetometer surveying, colorant analysis of ancient glasses and pottery technology, his endeavors of late have focused on the organic analysis of vessel contents and dyes, particularly Royal Purple, wine, and beer. The chemical confirmation of the earliest instances of these organics–Royal Purple dating to ca. 1300-1200 B.C. and wine and beer dating to ca. 3500-3100B.C.–received wide media coverage. A 1996 article published in Nature, the international scientific journal, pushed the earliest date for wine back another 2000 years–to the Neolithic period (ca. 5400-5000B.C.). He is the author of Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (Princeton University Press, 2003), and Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages (Berkeley: University of California, 2009) amongst other books an articles.

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