Archaeologists said on Friday that they had found the earliest evidence of Chinese people using monascus to make alcohol in 8,000-year-old clay pots unearthed in central China.
A large amount of monascus hypha and cleistothecia, together with fermented starch grains from rice, were detected in remnants of two clay pots found in the Peiligang cultural site in Henan Province, said Li Yongqiang, an assistant researcher with the Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The discovery indicates that the pots were once used for brewing and storing alcohol, Li said.
Peiligang is one of the earliest village ruins in China, dating back about 8,000 years.
It provides important evidence for studies on the origin and development of agriculture, pottery making, the textile industry as well as alcohol making techniques in ancient times.