CAIRO - 17 February 2021: The archeological discoveries in Egypt continue. The joint Egyptian-American archaeological mission working in North Abydos, Sohag, and headed by Matthew Adams from New York University, and Deborah Fishak from Princeton University, has recently unveiled what is believed to be the oldest brewery factory in the world.
It is likely that the brewery dates back to the era of King Narmer. It consists of eight large sectors with an area of 20 m long, 2.5 m wide, and 0.4 m deep, and used as brewing units. Each section contained about 40 earthenware ponds arranged in two rows to heat the mixture of grain and water.
Each basin is held in place by means of clay struts placed vertically in the form of rings. The brewery used to produce about 22,400 liters of beer at once.
It was probably built in this place to supply the royal rituals that were taking place within the funerary facilities of the first kings of Egypt. Evidence for the use of beer in sacrificial rituals was found during excavations in these facilities.
Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities shed light on the history of beer in ancient Egypt. Beer was very different in ancient Egypt, as it provided the ancient Egyptians with energy and essential nutrients.
Evidence for beer processing in ancient Egypt dates back to 3000 BC. Beer and bread were the most important wages in ancient Egypt before money appeared.
Beer was made from various ingredients, such as barley, wheat, dates and sometimes wheat, and the grains were pounded in a mortar with wooden hammers, and then moistened with water, kneaded and formed into irregularly shaped loaves of bread and baked half-way.
These loaves were cut and sifted in a large saucepan, where they were kneaded again, adding water or sugary water from the date marination, then finally leaving the dough to ferment and filtered. The final product was filled in clay pots.
The ancient Egyptians drank beer in ceremonies, religious gatherings, and funerals. Beer was also given as an offering mainly to Goddess Sekhmet.
In ancient Egypt, beer was among the engraved offerings on the tombs’ walls; the stages of brewing have also appeared on the walls of tombs since the Old Kingdom.