The remains of what may be the world’s oldest royal beer factory have been the subject of research by archaeologists in Egypt for several years. According to a report by AP News, the researchers in the ancient site of Abydos have identified 40 basins used to make beer dating to the reign of King Narmer around the time of the First Dynastic Period (3150 B.C.E.–2613 B.C.E.).
The research effort is co-chaired by archaeologist and egyptologist Matthew Adams, senior research scholar at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and art historian, archaeologist, and egyptologist Deborah Vischak, assistant professor of Egyptian art and archaeology at Princeton University.
A blog post on the Abydos Archaeology website states that “one batch of beer with the total facility in use at one time would have produced more than 22,000 liters” and that “the scale of production at Abydos was an order of magnitude greater than anything else of its time.”
“Both its scale and location in a sacred desert landscape at Abydos reserved exclusively for the use of Egypt’s early kings situate the brewery as an important component of a new system of royal expression at a critical moment in Egypt’s history,” the post goes on to say of the brewery. The beer is believed to have been used in royal rituals in ancient Egypt.
This is not the only significant finding to emerge out of Egypt in recent weeks. Earlier this year, archaeologists unearthed at least one mummy with a golden tongue at the Taposiris Magna Temple in western Alexandria. The remains there were found in 16 burial shafts dating to the Greek and Roman periods.