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Wine in Ancient Egypt

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:30 pm    Post subject: Wine in Ancient Egypt Reply with quote

Renenutet was the Egyptian goddess of the harvest and wine

Wine already played a role early in history of the ancient First Dynasty of Egypt (3100bc - 2890bc). Remnants of grapes were found dating to this period. Soon, pictures of wine making operations were used to decorate walls and palaces. There were two stages to making wine back then - the crushing for the free run, followed by pressing. A fermentation stage occurred between these two. The wine then went into amphorae - large pottery vessels with spouts, used for bulk storage and transportation. Amphorae were stoppered with cloth, leather, cork or fired clay, then sealed with mortar.

From touregypt:
In her role of fertility goddess, Renenutet was known as the "Lady of Fertile Fields" and "Lady of Granaries". She was thought to be responsible for looking after the harvest (this was probably because the Egyptians saw snakes hiding in the fields at harvest time)......
There was also often a shrine dedicated to her near a wine press or vat, so she could receive the offerings of the wine makers.


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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I know...
Work too hard, look at Sekhmet, start thinking of wine...
pathetic Rolling Eyes
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw Renenutet mentioned as goddess of wine, but from the page on touregypt it seems that this was a small part of her duties/role.
The goddess seems to be quite complex.

Wine does seem to play a large role, as grapes are shown in tombs, and some of our knowledge of lengths of reigns is based on wine dockets!
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Raia
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't know there was a goddess for wine, but then again the Greek's have Dionysos who is a god for wine as well as many other things.

Would wine and beer be considered the same in Ancient Egypt? Or was Renenutet only the goddess of wine?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think they would consider wine and beer to be the same.
Are you wondering if there's a god(dess) of beer too?
That would be kinda neat Very Happy

I have only seen Renenutet seen linked to wine. Some mention of seeing snakes near the vinyards. But you would also expect them near where wheat is grown.

Wasn't beer made differently in AE, or am I just mis-remembering things?
I thought it was much thicker and heavier?
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The beer they served in Egypt (Hnqt or "henket") could never be served in an English pub, that's for sure. It always had to be drunk, so it seems, with a "rietje" (help me out, annie). That served as a (oh for crying out loud, did my brain melt again?) kind of "zeef" for the rough texture of the beer to be softer and actually drinkable. That was helpful... Confused

I don't know how Egyptians actually made wine, though I don't believe there to have been a lot of differences with today's way of handling things? The word for "wine" was "irp" by the way. Onomatopoeia? Smile
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"straw" and "sieve" Rolling Eyes
Great timing, brain.
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Raia
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Are you wondering if there's a god(dess) of beer too?


No, just in elementary school when we had to learn about egypt I said that they mostly drank beer and everyone else said wine...I wanted to see if there was still a chance I was right after all these years. Embarassed
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you were right though, I've heard and seen a lot more about beer than I ever have about wine (in Ancient Egypt). I think it's maybe due to something of a "prejudice", thinking of beer as a more contemporary means to get wasted and seeing wine as a more ancient, "classic" beverage. Anyway, I doubt the wine Egyptians made was really a lot like a Bordeaux or something we can relate to. I actually wonder how it was stored, seeing wood was so rare and precious back then and there. Amphora's probably? The horror... Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for hijacking this thread, focusing on beer.
Male dominance I guess. Cool

You should take a look at http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~gcrawfor/beerfiles/egypt.html where somebody with too much free time at hand apparently made Egyptian beer, using descriptions of Diodorus Siculus. Sounds genuine.

Another attempt of re-creating Egyptian beer was made with a little more professionality. I guess it answers the question of a "god of beer" as well. Osiris seems logical, being the god of the ingredients used. That may sound weird, since he's most known as god of the afterlife, but frankly: Hades, the Greek god of afterlife held a similar role, being the "owner of earth's roots" - hence being the guardian of everything living. Like this he was known as Plouton as well (Pluto, "the rich"): his wealth never ceased to grow, constantly welcoming "new souls" in his realm and at the same time owning the requisites for mortal life. Sounds like a paradox? Merely duality. Smile

Quote:
Legend teaches that Osiris taught humans to brew beer. In keeping with this idea the Egyptians often used beer in religious ceremonies and as the meal-time beverage. Because of the prevalence of beer in the Egyptian life, many Egyptologists have studied beer residue from Egyptian vessels. For a very long time it was thought that the Egyptians made a crude beer by crumbling lightly baked, well-leavened bread into water. They then strained it out with a sieve into a vat and the water was allowed to ferment because of the yeast from the bread. It has been thought that the Egyptians flavored the beer with date juice or honey, because the straining method would not give much flavor.

Recently, these traditional views have been challenged through the use of microscopic evidence. In 1996 Delwen Samuel from the University of Cambridge found that the Egyptians seem to have used barley to make malt and a type of wheat, emmer, instead of hops. They heated the mixture then added yeast and uncooked malt to the cooked malt. After adding the second batch of malt the mixture was allowed to ferment. In the analysis Samuel did she found no traces of flavorings.

Samuel and her colleagues tried brewing the beer using the recipe derived by the analysis. They brewed it at a modern brewery and found the beer to be fruity and sweet because it lacked the bitterness of hops.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this:

Egyptian wine has an extensive history within Egyptian civilization. Grapes were not native to the landscape of Egypt, rather the vines themselves are hypothesized to have been imported from the Phoenicians, though the actual origins remain in dispute. What is known, is that by the third millennium BC, Egyptian kings of the first dynasty had expansive wine cellars, and wine was used extensively in the temple ceremonies. The main consumption of wine in Egypt took place between the king, nobles, and the priests in temple ceremonies, and is evidenced by numerous painted relief's, and other archeological evidence. The vineyards of ancient Egypt were quite different from the modern methods of wine making today. As viticulture (or wine making), ceased to serve an exclusively ceremonial purpose, the Egyptians began to experiment with simple structures for their vines to train on, as well as found a way to train their vines so they were easy low maintenance bushes, and found ways for the soil to retain more moisture for the vines. Egyptian wine making experiments included the use of different wine presses, adding heat to the must (the grape juice ready for fermentation) in order to make the wine sweet, and differences in vat types and materials. The finished product was poured through a cloth filter, and then into earthenware jars, where they would be sealed with natural tar and left to ferment. The Egyptians kept accurate records of their vintages, and the quality of their wines, each jar of wine was clearly labeled with it's own vintage and quality.





http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/ancienttech/egypt.wine.html
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about Hathor??? i always thought she was the goddess of beer, the lady of alcohol and drunkenness. Wasn't Sekhmet appeased by drinking red tinted beer and became Hathor in the process? I've never heard of Osiris being god of beer, that's new to me, although I did see some sources linking him to Dionysus, god of wine, but I don't see very many connections between Osiris and Dionysus...
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought Sekhemt became Bastet after drinking the blood/wine, not Hathor...but than again I've heard many variations of that story, so it could be her.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand... (grinning already for complicating things again) The one who invented the trick, "painting" the beer blood-red, was Ra. First Hathor was sent to the world to ravage things a little. For this she turned into Sekhmet but became a little blood-thirsty. Ra felt compassion with the disembowled (!) and massacred humans though, ordered his messengers to "run like the shadow of a human body" (always liked that expression - authentic by the way) for red ochre from Aswan. Then he ordered one of the "hair-locks of Heliopolis" (high-priests of Ra) to mold the ochre into 7.000 barrels of beer, which then were spilled over the land. The rest is common knowledge, Sekhmet builds a party and wakes up, being Hathor again with a hangover.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes sense, the version I've read is that Ra just creates Sekhmet as a new god altogether instead of using Hathor, and then when when Ra gains a bit more control over her she becomes Bastet.
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