Archaeologists Discover What May Have Been World’s Oldest Brewery in Egypt

Archaeologists may have found the remains of the world's oldest brewery buried in Egypt.

The potentially 5,000-year-old beer factory in the city of Abydos dates back to the reign of King Narmer — around 3100 B.C. — the country's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities confirmed this month in a press release.

The brewery "may have been built in this place specifically to supply the royal rituals that were taking place inside the funeral facilities of the kings of Egypt," archaeologist and mission co-head Matthew Adams of New York University said in a statement, according to The BBC. Previous excavations around the site led researchers to believe the location may have been used for sacrificial rituals.

The brewery was impressively organized like a modern-day one. There are eight different sections for beer productions, each about 65 feet long and eight feet wide. In each section were 40 clay pots for mixtures of grain and water, which would have turned into beer, after they were heated. Each basin was "held in place by levers made of clay placed vertically in the form of rings," Dr. Mostafa Waziry, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said.

The ancient brewery likely produced large batches of beer, with the capability of making about 5,000 gallons at a time.

Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities believes the discovery to "be the oldest high-production brewery in the world," The BBC reported.

This is not the only exciting discovery out of Egypt so far this year. Last week, archeologists revealed the discovery of 16 burial shafts, containing mummies with golden tongues. Researchers believe the discovery could shed new light on some ancient Egyptian mysteries, like the whereabouts of certain "high status" individuals like Cleopatra.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at

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