The remains of an old industrial brewery were found by a team of archaeologists at a burial site in southern Egypt, Egypt’s Tourism Ministry said on Saturday. The structure, more than 5,000 years old, could brew more than 22,000 liters of beer at a time.
Beer is one of the oldest prepared drinks of mankind. A discovery made in Israel two years ago indeed suggests that its production could have been started over 13,000 years ago. Like wine, it was considered safer than water due to the fermentation process. The consumption of beer was also linked to many religious practices and supposedly curative treatments.
That being said, an Egyptian-American team today announced the discovery of a new brewery – industrial this time – at the archaeological site of Abydos, in southern Egypt. Information relayed last Saturday by the Ministry of Tourism in Cairo.
22,400 liters produced “at the same time”
The first “traces” of this brewery were discovered over a century ago, during an excavation in 1912 during which archaeologists found what appeared to be a collection of eight grain ovens, arranged in a row, among other tombs and structures in the area dating from 3100 to 2700 BCE.
Meanwhile, artefacts from other sites in the region have indicated that these ovens were used for the production of beer. Thus, in recent years, archaeologists have returned to the original site to continue excavations and collect samples for dating and analysis. Today they reveal the full extent of this incredible structure.
The brewery consisted of eight major zones used as “beer production units”. Each sector contained a forty earthenware pots arranged in two rows. A mixture of grain and water used for the production of beer was heated in the tanks.
New York University archaeologist Matthew Adams, who is leading the joint mission with Deborah Vischak of Princeton University, notes that this brewery was capable of producing about 22,400 liters of beer at a time.
According to analyzes, the structure was built at the time of king narmer. The latter, who reigned ago over 5,000 years, is known to have founded the first dynasty and unified Upper and Lower Egypt. According to archaeologists, the structure “May have been built there specifically to provide the royal rituals that took place inside the funeral facilities of the kings of Egypt”, according to communicated.