|Breaking brew news: Fresco discovered in tomb of ancient Egyptian |
beer maker Khonso Em Heb
Thursday, March 27, 2014
SUDS CHRONICLES / LIFE AND TIMES OF A 3,200 YEAR OLD BARLEY BEER MAKER
SUDS CHRONICLES, PART 3--If you like making beer at home you share something in common with the ancient Egyptians. CNN reported this week that a multi-national archeological dig has uncovered a fairly in tact 3200-year old tomb of the royal beer maker back in the day.
Khonso Em Heb was described by Egypt’s antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim as the chief maker of beer for gods of the dead. Mr. Heb headed the royal warehouses during the Ramesside pharaohs operating between 1,292 to 1,069 BC. He was also tasked with being the royal brewer.
A Japanese team of archaeologists headed by Jiro Kondo of Waseda University found the tomb near Luxor, Egypt.
Commenting on news of the discovery, Poo Mun Chou, an Egyptologist at Hong Kong’s Chinese University told CNN that “alcohol in ancient Egypt was very important—not just in the terms of daily consumption but also as an offering to the deities.” Poo says beer was very important to the gods. (Folks, we’re not making any of this up).
Poo adds beer during the millennium before Christ was very cheap compared with wines of the day. “Beer was a very popular drink for people of all social strata.”
While the appeal of beer across all social classes remains to this day, Professor Poo says the modern drinker might struggle to recognize the barley or millet-based beverage of ancient times.
"While it's a close cousin to modern beer, it's manufacture was more primitive and they had to use a tube to extract the liquid from below which would have had a fermented layer of substance floating on the top of the jar," he said.
"It would have had bubbles," he added.