A 5,000-year-old brewery that could produce thousands of litres of beer has been unearthed by a team of archaeologists in the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos, Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement.
The high-production brewery was discovered at a funerary site in southern Egypt's Sohag Governorate and is likely dated around 3,100 BC. Dr Matthew Adams, who headed the joint Egyptian-American mission with Deborah Vischak of Princeton University, said researchers believe that beer was served in royal burial rituals during the reign of Egypt's earliest kings. The discovered brewery could be from King Narmer's era, he added.
The brewery, which had a production capacity of 22,400 litres (about 5,900 gallons), was divided into eight sections with 40 clay pots each to heat mixtures of grain and water.
"It was probably built in this place specifically to supply the royal rituals that were taking place inside the funerary facilities of the first kings of Egypt. These establishments show evidence of beer being used in sacrificial rituals," said Adams, as quoted in the statement.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a team of British archaeologists had discovered the plant, but its location was not accurately confirmed. However, the current expedition helped to re-locate and uncover it and its contents.