Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered what could be the oldest known brewery in the world, dating back about 5,000 years.
A joint Egyptian-American team discovered the brewery in Abydos, an ancient cemetery in the desert. They found a series of units containing about 40 pots used to heat the mixture of grain and water for making beer. The brewery is likely to date back to the reign of King Narmer, according to the High Council of Antiquities. He says he believes it is “the oldest high production brewery in the world”.
According to Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Egyptian High Council of Antiquities, the brewery consisted of eight large areas, each 20 m (65 feet) long and containing about 40 earthenware pots each arranged in two rows. He says that the mixture of grain and water used for brewing is heated in barrels, with each bowl “placed vertically in rings with arms made of clay”.
According to an Egyptian tourism ministry statement, archaeologist and mission co-head Matthew Adams from New York University, saying “It may have been built specifically to this place to provide royal rituals that take place at the funeral facilities of the Egyptian kings.”
It is thought that the beer was produced on a large scale where approximately 22,400 liters (5,000 gallons) are produced at a time. The statement said, “The excavations in these facilities have found evidence that beer was used in sacrificial ceremonies.”