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21 August 2013
Ancient Egyptian brewery recreated in 3D

A three dimensional representation of a 5,500 year old brewery has been reconstructed by a PhD student from the Jagiellonian University Institute of Archaeology in Poland. 3D computer modelling is a common feature of modern building design and the software available is now quite advanced.
     The site which was investigated to provided the data for the model was at Tell el-Faracha in the Eastern Nile delta of Egypt. This discovery pre-dates the previously oldest known brewery, also in Egypt, at Hierakonpolis, south of Luxor. Beer was drunk in preference to water as the Nile contained bacteria. Boiling the water was part of the brewing process and when brewed with barley, honey, herbs and spices, became a safe and rather tasty drink.
     The model was built up in 2D layers using the information from the site investigations. It was deliberately left as if in various stages of construction, so that the inner detail could more readily be seen. The brewery comprised three segments, arranged like the leaves of a clover. Each segment had its own circular brewing vessel, supported by clay bricks. It is thought that this design allowed the brewers to maintain a constant temperature around the vessels, which lead to a higher quality and consistency of output.
     A team, currently lead by Professor Krzysztof Cialowicz, has been studying the Tell el-Faracha site for 15 years and has provided a wealth of knowledge to strengthen our understanding of the age of the first pharaohs.

Edited from Science & Scholarship in Pland (5 August 2013)

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