It may sound surprising but yes, beer is not a creation of modern man. It was made on large scale some 5,000 years ago in Israel by Egyptians. So in essence, with every single discovery being made about the ancient past, we get yet another reason to celebrate the genius of our ancient ancestor and at the same time, a reason to believe that we – the modern men – are not that extraordinarily genius as we think!
A Tel Aviv based archaeologist, dug out at least a dozen of large beer pits dating back some 5,000 years ago. Apart from revealing the fact that beer is not a modern creation, these pits also unearth ‘Egyptian occupation’ of other lands, especially central Israel, say The Daily Star – a news website.
The 17 pits in question were actually found underneath a building site in Tel Aviv and each of these pits had several broken pottery pieces. These basins were used for making and storing beer at least 5,000 years back.
According to Diego Barkan – excavation direction at Israel Antiquities Authority, the basins were in use during the early Bronze Age dating from 3,500 BCE to 3,000 BCE. According to Barkan, among the numerous pottery shards that were discovered, large ceramic basin pieces were also found and that these basin pieces were actually made using Egyptian tradition. The ceramic basin pieces, according to him, were used for storing beer.
Barkan explains that the procedure of beer making involved mixing partially baked barley with water and leaving the mixture in sun for fermentation. Flavor was added to the beer by adding fruit concentrates to the barley-water mixture.
According to experts, beer, just like bread, was a staple in ancient Egypt and that everyone irrespective of gender, age and social status used to drink beer. Researchers claim that ancient Egyptians drank beer not just because of the euphoric effects it had but also because they considered it to be safer and healthier apart from animal protein that was widely consumed back in those days.
In 2013 Gloria Dawson studied the theory of beer being a safer alternative to water in an article for Nautilus – a science magazine. The article stated that fermentation process in beer production neatly eliminated pathogenic microbes, making beer a safer alternative to water.
Apart from the ceramic basin pieces found during the archaeological excavation, large ceramic pots, jars and vessels contemporary to beer basins were also unearthed. Among the discoveries were also a flint and a copper dagger that dated back to 6,000 years ago.
The excavation site, according to Discovery News, is the evidence of Egyptian northern-most presence during early Bronze Age. Haaretz, a news site says that the Tel Aviv excavation site was previously dug in 1980 and 2008 respectively prior to this excavation and because of the interesting finds on three occasions, the site will continue to be an area of interest for archaeologist for years to come.