Brewing Bronze Age Beer

Bible and archaeology news

The reconstructed brewery. Photo: Heritage and Archaeological Research Practice

University of Manchester archaeologists working at Kissonerga-Skalia, located near Paphos (Cyprus), are having fun with experimental archaeology. During the investigation of a Bronze Age industrial area, Manchester archaeologist Dr. Lindy Crewe uncovered a drying kiln that was likely used for beer production. This field season, Heritage and Archaeological Research Practice (HARP) ran a field school for experimental archaeology to recreate the kiln and test the brewery theory. After building the domed roof and malting grain in a reconstructed kiln, the team used ingredients that would have been available in ancient Skalia. According to the HARP website “Whilst some of the beers produced had an acquired taste, the fig beer was a hit, and with a little tweaking to the recipe it may well prove to be an appropriate session ale!” In a recent article in Levant, Crewe and Ian Hill use evidence from the brewery to reexamine Cypriot Bronze Age tomb imagery involving beer production and other depictions of celebrations, community cohesion and social transitions.

Read the abstract or purchase your copy of “Finding Beer in the Archaeological Record: A Case Study from Kissonerga-Skalia on Bronze Age Cyprus” by Lindy Crewe and Ian Hill in the November 2012 issue of Levant.

Read more about the experimental archaeology field school on the HARP website.


BAS Library Members: Read Michael M. Homan’s “Did the Ancient Israelites Drink Beer?” as it appeared in the September/October 2010 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.

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  • JAllan says

    Here’s to Saccharomyces Cerevisiae!
    Still “hopping” after all these years!

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