Can't Stop Wine-ing About Ancient Egypt

Many of us today drink wine to celebrate various occasions. But where did wine really originate from? Is there a deeper symbolism for this drink in different religions or cultures?  

According to NBC News, the earliest evidence of wine or any fermented beverage comes from the Jiahu Vessels (China), dated to about 7,000BC were found to have “chemicals that matched residues from modern rice and rice wine”.

What about Egypt? How was wine in Ancient Egypt like? Was it made locally or was it imported? According to archaeological evidence, wine was imported from the Levant before people started to develop a liking for it and thus a “royal winemaking industry” was developed.

Agricultural scenes of threshing, a grain store, harvesting with sickles, digging, tree-cutting and ploughing from the tomb of Nakht, 18th Dynasty. Norman de Garis Davies, Nina Davies  Thebes. CC-PD-Mark, via Wikimedia Commons  

Agricultural scenes of threshing, a grain store, harvesting with sickles, digging, tree-cutting and ploughing from the tomb of Nakht, 18th Dynasty. Norman de Garis Davies, Nina Davies  Thebes. CC-PD-Mark, via Wikimedia Commons

 

In Egypt, findings from ancient tombs show that wine was in use by 3100B.C. The Egyptian word for Wine is jrp(irep), which refers to anything that is actually related to “vine”. Before the ancient Egyptians learnt how to produce wine locally, the relied heavily on importing.