CAIRO: The joint Egyptian-American archaeological mission, headed by Matthew Adams of New York University and Princeton University’s Deborah Yashar, has uncovered what is believed to be the oldest high-production brewery in the world.
The mission is working in North Abydos in Sohag governorate, 450 km south of Cairo.
“The factory is likely to date back to the era of King Narmer. It consists of eight large sectors with an area of 20 meters in length,” Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt said, which would make it about 5,000 years old.
“They were used as units for the production of beer, as each sector contains about 40 pottery ponds arranged in two rows to heat the mixture of grains and water,” he said.
“Studies have proven that the factory produced about 22,400 liters of beer at a time. It was probably built in this place specifically to supply the royal rituals that were taking place inside the funerary facilities of the first kings of Egypt. These establishments show evidence of beer being used in sacrificial rituals,” Matthew Adams said.
After 16 years of excavation in the city of Tal Edfu, north of the city of Aswan and 600 km south of Cairo, archaeologists and researchers from the University of Chicago discovered a complex of buildings indicating the oldest stages of life in the city, and evidence of food production.
The complex consists of two large mud-brick buildings surrounded by vast open squares and workshops. These buildings date back to about 2400 BC, the period known as the Old Kingdom in Pharaonic history, during which the pyramids were constructed.
Excavations revealed storage containers and other artifacts inside the workshops, indicating that the townspeople were making beer and bread at this site.
An Egyptian archaeological mission has discovered a part of a wine press and storage units, in addition to a large wall of mud bricks and a residential building adjacent to a mill in the area of Terogi, in Beheira governorate, 34 km east of Alexandria.
Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said that the building, in which small regular and irregular blocks of limestone were used in the foundations amid the mud bricks, may have been used to control the temperature for preserving wine.