Native Grains and Foreign Grapes in Ancient Egypt
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The paper relates that while beer emerges as an intrinsic part of the fabric of Egyptian life in earliest times, wine--as a luxury beverage for royalty and their favorites--is far more likely to have originated as an exotic import of the predynastic and early dynastic period. The paper explores the origins of brewing in Egyptian history and finds that brewing and baking were closely associated throughout Egyptian history; they relied on the same raw ingredients and both were the province of women throughout Egyptian history. The paper also finds that Upper Egypt was the likely source from which brewing originated and there are signs that beer was manufactured on an industrial scale in Upper Egypt well before the dynastic era. The paper then discusses how export may be at the roots of the second of Egypt's primary alcoholic beverages, wine, which emerged suddenly in the late predynastic period--and in foreign jars. The paper finds that the origin of local viniculture is much more obscure, with no archaeological support for local viniculture before Dynasty III.
From the Paper:"In one form or another, the consumption of alcohol was a virtual constant across nearly four millennia of Egyptian history from the predynastic era to the final Muslim conquest in 630 AD. However, while beer emerges as an intrinsic part of the fabric of Egyptian life in earliest times, wine--as a luxury beverage for royalty and their favorites--is far more likely to have originated as an exotic import of the predynastic and early dynastic period.
"Beer was as omnipresent as bread as a staple food for common laborers (Bedford 196), and indeed brewing and baking were closely associated throughout Egyptian history. The expression "food and drink" was written with a wide-mouthed beer jug as its determinative character and beer jars and bread pans were stored together in tombs as early as 3200 BC (Marcus 303-5). While the thick and cloudy Egyptian beer was nominally a liquid, it relied on the same raw ingredients--generally barley but occasionally wheat as well--as bread, while the process of preparing bread dough was superficially similar enough to the task of mixing beer mash to confuse generations of Egyptologists (Breasted Jr 33)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Allen, Thomas George. "Horus in the Pyramid Texts." Diss. U. of Chicago, 1916.
- Allen, James P. and Peter Der Manuelian. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.
- Bard, Kathryn A. "The Egyptian Predynastic: A Review of the Evidence." Journal of Field Archaeology 21:3 (1994), 265-88.
- Breasted, James Henry. Ancient Records of Egypt: The First Through Seventeenth Dynasties. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2001.
- Breasted Jr., James Henry. Egyptian Servant Statues. New York: Pantheon, 1948.
Cite this Term Paper:
Native Grains and Foreign Grapes in Ancient Egypt (2013, April 19) Retrieved November 22, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/native-grains-and-foreign-grapes-in-ancient-egypt-152700/
"Native Grains and Foreign Grapes in Ancient Egypt" 19 April 2013. Web. 22 November. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/native-grains-and-foreign-grapes-in-ancient-egypt-152700/>