Tel Aviv might have been a beer-making hub for Egyptians in the early Bronze Age, as is attested by some newly found archaeological evidences from the coastal city. These finds pertain to a whopping 17 pits in a site (along Hamasger Street) that is all about to have new office buildings. So the researchers from Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) wanted to salvage as much as they could before the commencement of modern-day construction. As a result, they came across these ancient pits that contained a huge number of pottery shards. Among these broken specimens, the ceramic basins were identified as being traditionally used by Ancient Egyptians for making beer.
In terms of craftsmanship, these ceramic basins were found to have reinforcing agents like straw (and other organic stuff) that would have provided strength to the core material. As for the authenticity of their Ancient Egyptian origins, many of such similar straw-tempered specimens were discovered in other Egyptian-administered sites too, including a site in Southern Israel. Interestingly however, in terms of archaeology, the Tel Aviv site was found to have the northernmost evidence of Egyptian presence in the Levant. As Diego Barkan, one of the archaeologists involved in the salvaging process said –
Until now [before this discovery], we were only aware of an Egyptian presence in the northern Negev and southern coastal plain, whereby the northernmost point of Egyptian occupation occurred in Azor. Now we know that they also appreciated what the Tel Aviv region had to offer and that they too knew how to enjoy a glass of beer, just as Tel Avivians do today.
And since we brought up the scope of archaeology, the researchers also found other antediluvian objects, including animal bones dating from 5,000 years ago; and daggers and stone tools dating from around 6,000 years ago. As for the lighter side of affairs, beer was sort of the ‘national drink’ for Ancient Egyptians – with its mass production being made from the fermentation of partially-baked barley and water. Fruit extracts were also added later on to endow variant flavors to the brew.
Image Credits: Yoli Shwartz / Israel Antiquities Authority