Proof of Britain’s first ever beer is found by archaeologists clearing a patch of land between Cambridge and Huntingdon for a new road.
A team working on a project to widen the A14 discovered charred lumps of residue from the beer-making process, potentially from as early as 400BC.
Archaeologists say the tiny fragments,which were found in excavated earth, suggest an Iron Age brew.
Evidence that locals had a taste for porridge and bread has also been uncovered during work to upgrade the 21-mile (34km) stretch of the road.
Dr Steve Sherlock, Highways England archaeology on the the A14 project, said: ‘It’s a well-known fact that ancient populations used the beer-making process to purify water and create a safe source of hydration, but this is potentially the earliest physical evidence of that process taking place in the UK.’
Lara Gonzalez, who is one of around 250 archaeologists on the project led by MOLA Headland Infrastructure, made the discovery.
‘I knew when I looked at these tiny fragments under the microscope that I had something special,’ she said.
‘The microstructure of these remains had clearly changed through the fermentation process and air bubbles typical of those formed in the boiling and mashing process of brewing.