American and Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed what could be the oldest known beer factory at one of the most prominent archaeological sites of ancient Egypt, a top antiquities official said Saturday.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the factory was found in Abydos, an ancient burial ground located in the desert west of the Nile River, more than 450 kilometres south of Cairo.

He said the factory apparently dates back to the region of King Narmer, who is widely known for his unification of ancient Egypt at the beginning of the First Dynastic Period (3150 BC to 2613 BC).
This photo provided by the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry on Saturday, February 13, 2021 shows pottery basins, which archaeologists say had been used to heat up a mixture of grains and water to produce beer, in Abydos, some 450km south of Cairo, Egypt. The basins were part of what could be the oldest known beer factory unearthed in Abydos. (AP)
Archaeologists found eight huge units — each is 20 metres long and 2.5 metres wide.

Each unit includes some 40 pottery basins in two rows, which had been used to heat up a mixture of grains and water to produce beer, Mr Waziri said.

The joint mission is co-chaired by Dr Matthew Adams of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Deborah Vischak, assistant professor of ancient Egyptian art history and archaeology at Princeton University.

Dr Adams said the factory was apparently built in this area to provide royal rituals with beer, given that archaeologists found evidences showing the use of beer in sacrificial rites of ancient Egyptians.

This photo provided by the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry on Saturday, February 13, 2021 show a pottery basin, which archaeologists say had been used to heat up a mixture of grains and water to produce beer, in Abydos, some 450km south of Cairo, Egypt. (AP)
British archaeologists were the first to mention the existence of that factory early 1900s, but they couldn’t determine its location, the antiquities ministry said.
With its vast cemeteries and temples from the earliest times of ancient Egypt, Abydos was known for monuments honoring Osiris, ancient Egypt’s god of underworld and the deity responsible for judging souls in the afterlife.

The necropolis had been used in every period of early Egyptian history, from the prehistoric age to Roman times.

Egypt has announced dozens of ancient discoveries in the past couple of years, in the hope of attracting more tourists.

This photo provided by the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry on Saturday, February 13, 2021 shows pottery basins, which archaeologists say had been used to heat up a mixture of grains and water to produce beer, in Abydos, some 450km south of Cairo, Egypt. (AP)

The tourism industry has been reeling from the political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

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The sector was also dealt a further blow last year by the coronavirus pandemic.



This content first appear on 9news

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