Ancient brewery uncovered in Egypt

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Archaeologists have discovered a 5000-year-old brewery that could mass-produce beer in the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos, Egypt's tourism and antiquities ministry says.

The site in Egypt's Sohag Governorate likely dates back to the reign of King Narmer around 3100 BC, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Archaeologists say it could be the oldest known beer factory.

The brewery had a production capacity of 22,400 litres and was split into eight sections each containing 40 clay pots used to warm mixtures of grain and water.

Dr Matthew Adams, one of the leaders of the Egyptian-American mission that made the discovery, said they believe the beer was used in royal burial rituals for Egypt's earliest kings.

Officials are keen to show off newly discovered artefacts as they try to revive visitor numbers after Egypt's tourism industry received a painful blow during the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of tourists visiting the country dropped to 3.5 million last year from 13.1 million in 2019.