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Oct. 19 events to focus on border trip, beer in Mesopotamia

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Two ongoing lecture series at Monmouth College will hold events on Oct. 19.

At noon in the Whiteman-McMillan Highlander Room of the Stockdale Center, Monmouth students will present an International Luncheon, reporting on their trip to the U.S. Mexico border last spring to study immigration issues.

The discussion portion of the program is free; a meal featuring international cuisine costs $8.50 for faculty, staff and the general public. Reservations for the meal must be made by Oct. 17 by calling 309-457-2253 or e-mailing

At 7:30 p.m. in the Pattee Auditorium in the Center for Science and Business, North Carolina State University history professor Tate Paulette will present an archaeology lecture titled “Inebriation and the Early State: The Transformative Power of Beer in Bronze Age Mesopotamia (3000-1200 B.C.).”

For a broad range of societies worldwide, alcoholic beverages occupy a key position, said Paulette.

“In the case of Mesopotamia, there can be no doubt that beer was a potent social, political and economic force from at least the fourth millennium B.C. onward,” he said. “Like other alcoholic beverages, beer has a unique capacity to enter into relations with human beings – to transform individual people, groups of people, places and occasions. In this lecture, I argue that we need to pay closer attention to this transient, transformative potential.”

Free and open to the public, the lecture is part of a series sponsored by the Monmouth College Classics Department, in cooperation with the Western Illinois Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.

The following day, Paulette will speak at Augustana College. The title of his talk there is “Where the Beer Flowed Like Wine: Beer and Brewing in Bronze Age Mesopotamia.”