CAIRO – 8 December 2021: A new British study found that the ancient Egyptian elites drank barley drink in a thick form similar to porridge about 5800 years ago.
The researchers analyzed fragments of the pottery found at Hierakonpolis, an ancient city and current archaeological site in southern Egypt.
Researchers at Britain's Dartmouth University have discovered the remains of a malt liquor in what were originally five straw-colored jars with flat bottoms. They were probably used to transport drinks in large quantities.
Four bowls in the form of a fine clay beaker covered with a black lid revealed the remains of drinks extracted from barley, indicating their use for drinking.
According to the British Daily Mail, the study confirmed that the barley drink was not just a type of drink but was a "symbol of status and power", important in elite ceremonies and burial rituals.
The study added that the ancient drinks were like "thick porridge" - and it was likely that it was turbid and/or sweet.
More than a dozen ancient brewery sites have been identified so far in Hierakonpolis.
The new study was led by Jiajing Wang, an archaeologist at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire. "Maybe beer was like thick porridge, very different from what we drink today," said Wang.
"It was probably a staple food consumed by everyone, and at the same time, it was also ritually consumed on special occasions," continued Wang.
Wang and colleagues used a method called microfossil remains analysis on 33 ceramic vessel fragments from the Hierakonpolis site.
The pieces date back to between 3800 and 3600 BC, about 600 years before the time of the first Egyptian pharaoh, who academics believe was Narmer.