February 17, 2012

Food Crops in Ancient Egypt

Many of the food crops cultivated by the ancient Egyptians needed constant watering and were therefore grown in irrigated gardens. Numerous varieties of plants were grown in this way, including fruits, green vegetables and beans. One of the main garden crops was the vine, used primarily for the production of wine, although grapes were also eaten as well as raisins. The plants were often trained to form arbours or arches. Around the roots well of mud were formed to help contain moisture. The grapes were harvested by hand without the use of a knife, and carried gently to the press in rush baskets. They were emptied into vats large enough to contain up to six men, who would crush the grapes with their feet..

Ancient Egyptian Farmers
The grape juice flowed into a collecting vat, whence or was transferred into open pottery jars for primary fermentation. A second pressing, a bag press, squeezed out the remaining juice fro the skins, seed and stems. After a vigorous primary fermentation in the open vessels, the wine was racked and transferred to other jars. These jars were sealed either with rush bung stoppers o with fermentation locks shaped like a saucer, with a hole in the centre to allow the gas to escape. The mouths and necks f the jars were almost entirely enveloped with mud capsules which were totally sealed after all the carbon dioxide had been released during the secondary fermentation. The jars were then labeled with information about date, type or use of the wine, estate vineyard and vintner.

The main beverage of the ancient Egyptians, however, was beer. This was made from barley, which was first formed into a loaf and then half-backed so as to make the yeast active but nor kill. The loaves were then broken up and mixed with malted barley and water. The resultant mash was allowed to Ferment for a few days and then sieved. The liquid was decanted into beer jars.

The Egyptians' staple food in ancient Egypt was bread, of which there were at least fifteen varieties in the Old Kingdom, whilst during the New Kingdom about forty names for breads, cakes and biscuits are attested. The difference between these various types was not only in the ingredients but also in shape, as the variety of surviving loaves indicates. The grinding if the grain for flour was a laborious. The grinding of the grain for flour was a laborious process. It was first crushed in a large mortar, and then sifted to remove the bran.

The remainder was ground remove the bran,. The remainder was ground in a saddle quern, which consisted of a concave quern-stone over which a heavy stone rubber was passed back and forth. The flour was sieved and reground until it reached the required degree of fineness. Only sufficient for the daily bake was prepared. The most common type of loaf was conical, made in a mould which was placed over an open fire to cook. Dome-shaped ovens also existed, in which flat loaves could be baked by placing them against the hot interior of the dome.

The eating of meat was probably something of a luxury for most ancient Egyptians. Nevertheless, large numbers of animals were reared and domestication can be traced back to Predynastic times, Cattle were the most common domestic animals, reared not only for their meat but also for dairy produce, as beasts of burden and for ritual use in sacrifice. Great herds were reared on temple domains as well as on royal and noble estate. The chief varieties were long-horned and short-horned cattle, but during the New Kingdom the hump-backed Brahminy bull was introduced from the near east. Other domesticated animals reared for food in ancient Egypt  were duck, geese, goats and pigs , during the Old kingdom there were experiments in domesticated other animals, such as antelope, oryx and hyena, and these are sometimes depicted being forced in order to fatten them up.

However, the experiments seem to have failed, for these creatures were never fully domesticated. Donkeys were also bred from an early time as best of burden but the camel was unknown until the Persian period. Horses did not appear in Egypt until the end of the Second Intermediate Period, introduced from the Near East. They were rarely Ridden by the near East. They were ridden by the Egyptians, being used instead to pull chariots.

Rarity restricted their ownership to Pharaoh, his nobles and the army. For the main means of transport in ancient Egypt we turn once more to he River. A number of distinctive forms of boat were used to move both men and goods up and down the Nile and as there were no brides over the main stream, ferries operated back and forth incessantly. The wind in Egypt blows constantly from north to south and so when traveling to Upper Egypt vessels raised a large rectangular sail to power them against the current. The boats were steered by large oar like rudder or by pairs of oars along the sides neat the stern. When traveling downstream the sail was taken down, as the rectangular shape was of little use when tacking into the wind. The mast was dismantled and the boat propelled by rowers seated along the gun-whales, who were aided by the river's current.

Detailed models of passenger ships are found in Middle Kingdom tombs. They occur in pairs, on fully rigged, the other with the mast unstepped and the rowers in position. The tomb-owner was thus always prepared for travel both north and south in the afterlife. So established was this pattern of sailing that a ship under sail came to be the hieroglyph for traveling south and a ship without sail or mast the hieroglyph for traveling north .... food in ancient Egypt.

Farming in ancient Egypt

Another type of craft which must have been seen frequently on the river was the papyri-form boat, whose shape was derived from the humble papyrus raft used for darting about along the banks and hunting in shallow, marshy waters. These papyri-form boats had a strictly religious use, either for transporting a god from temple to temple or for carrying mummies and pious Egyptians also had seagoing vessels, known as 'Byblos ships' from the port in the Near East(in modern Lebanon) which they visited most frequently, trading for much-needed resources such as timber. These ships were very similar in form to the Nile passenger craft, bur with extra strengthening members to withstand the strain of sailing in the open sea. A fleet of such vessels is depicted in a scene in the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri, representing a trading expedition which she sent to Punt, modern Somali-land, to obtain spices, incense trees and rare animals

Related Web Search :
  • Ancient Egypt Food
  • Ancient Egypt Food and Drink
  • Food of Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Egypt Food Recipes
  • Ancient Egypt Food for Kids
  • Daily life in Ancient Egypt

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

i needed recipes!!!

Ancient Egypt Admin said...

Ok, next friday i will write old recipes :)

Talk about Turkey said...

This blog is an amazing treasure trove of facts! Mind blowing...

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