'Coke, Pepsi brands are 5000-year-old'

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{image-mesopatamia civilisation_24042008.jpg news.oneindia.in}London, Apr 24: Leading soft drink brands like Coke and Pepsi are as old as the Mesopotamian civilisation, a new analysis shows.

An archaeologist from the University College London claims that designs on Mesopotamian commodities dating from 3200 BC Bottle stops used 5000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia (today's Iraq), carried symbols that marked them out as the earliest evidence of branded goods. The images were promotional logos, along the lines of those used by Coke and Pepsi. Such images have long been regarded as works of art by historians but Dr David Wengrow believes their use was much more practical.

''You get some designs that show people in the act of drinking or eating. They show people, gods, animals, even monsters doing all kinds of things together, including drinking beer through a straw, making textiles, but also killing each other too,'' the Daily Telegraph quoted Dr David Wengrow as saying.

The first origins of branding date back to around 8000 years ago, when Mesopotamian villagers began making personalised stone seals, which they pressed into the clay caps and stoppers they used to seal food and drink. These marked commodities would have been traded directly with neighbours and travellers.

But they turned into brands when urbanisation began in Mesopotamia - a little over 5000 years ago - when traders encountered more strangers and city residents increasingly had to deal with products of uncertain origin. This was also the time when alcoholic beverages, textiles and dairy products began to be mass produced.

And that is when Mesopotamians turned symbols into logos, Dr Wengrow says in the journal Current Anthropology. In this way, the caps and stoppers came to play a key role in telling people about the quality and origins of oils, wine and other products.


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