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Research Topics

A multi-disciplinary team of archaeologists, scientists, and brewers in Israel have worked together to successfully brew beer from ancient yeast. Archaeologists provided beer vessels that had been excavated from four sites: Tell es-Safi/Gath (ca. 850 BC), Bronze Age En-Bessor in the Negev, Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem (ca. eighth-fourth century BC) and an ancient Egyptian brewery found near Tel Aviv (ca. 3100 BC). By analyzing 21 vessels or shards from these sites, microbiologists were able to extract six viable yeast strains from the nano-pores of the pottery. The yeast was then successfully revitalized and used to brew both beer and mead that is similar to what the ancient Philistines, Canaanites, Egyptians and Judahites would have drunk. The brews were not the same as the ancient ones, however, as modern recipes were used; ancient people sweetened their drink with pomegranates and dates and spiced them using cinnamon, cardamom and herbs. Ronen Hazan, a microbiologist from Hebrew University of Jerusalem explained the significance of the study, which was published in the American Society for Microbiology journal: "This study is important in several aspects. First, it opens new avenues to the field of experimental archaeology which try to reconstruct things from the past. Second, it has implication on the study of human dietary and microorganisms domestication. Our methods are not limited to yeast but also can shed light on cheese, wine, pickles and any other fermented food."

Off-site Links:
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-scientists-brew-groundbreaking-ancient-beer-from-3000-year-old-yeast/
- https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium.MAGAZINE-israeli-archaeologists-resurrect-5-000-year-old-yeast-and-make-beer-from-it-1.7270800
- https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Did-you-know-that-Pharaoh-drank-beer-590357

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019