Beer vessel

Beer vessel

Old Kingdom (2649-2150 BC)
Height: 263mm
Diameter: 115mm
Nile silt

Bottles of this type were used for storing beer. Due to mass production, it is not very carefully made; it has a porous, irregular surface, with organic (straw) and mineral (sand and lime) inclusions. The chemical analysis of the remains found inside the vessel showed that it was a vessel for beer, which was a popular drink in ancient Egypt from the earliest times, at least as early as the 4th millennium BC. Beer was, next to bread, the most important element of nourishment. It accompanied people every day and on festive occasions, as it was offered as a sacrifice to the gods and the dead. Huge quantities of beer vessels and bottles, in which the beverage was stored and transported, have been preserved to this day.  

The vessel comes from Sakkara, the royal necropolis of Egypt. One of the world’s oldest breweries was discovered by a Polish archaeological mission working at Tell el-Farcha in the Nile Delta. They date back to around 3500 BC. Traces of brewing activity have also been found in Hierakonpolis (Arabic: Kom el-Ahmar near Edfu), dating back between 3500-3400 BC.


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