According to one prominent anthropologist, what lured our ancient ancestors out of their caves may not have been a thirst for knowledge, but a thirst for beer.

Dr. Solomon Katz theorizes that when man learned to ferment grain into beer more than 10,000 years ago, it became one of his most important sources of nutrition. Beer gave people protein that unfermented grain couldn't supply. And besides, it tasted a whole lot better than the unfermented grain did.

But in order to have a steady supply of beer, it was necessary to have a steady supply of beer's ingredients. Man had to give up his nomadic ways, settle down, and begin farming. And once he did, civilization was just a stone's throw away.

Prized possessions were often buried with the remains of important officials in ancient Mesopotamia. A glittering metal tube discovered in one tomb proved to be a golden straw for sipping beer.