Discovery of preserved wine in Southern Egypt for 5000 years… What does it mean?


Authorities in Egypt have made a significant archaeological discovery in the province of Sohag in the south of the country. They found hundreds of sealed jars that had not been opened before, containing remnants of wine dating back more than 5,000 years.

This discovery was made by the joint Egyptian, German, and Austrian archaeological mission working in the tomb of Queen Meritneith from the First Dynasty in the Umm Al-Qa’ab area of Abidos in Sohag. They also found another collection of funerary furniture.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities stated that:

  • The discovered jars are large in size and in good condition, and the wine remnants inside them are approximately 5,000 years old.
  • New historical information has been obtained about the life of Queen Meritneith and her period of rule, through the study of inscriptions on one of the tablets found inside the tomb. It has been clarified that the queen held a significant position.
  • Queen Meritneith was responsible for the central government offices. The mission continues to work in an attempt to uncover more secrets about the history and identity of this queen.
  • Studies have revealed that Queen Meritneith’s tomb was constructed of mudbrick, clay, and wooden planks.
  • This queen may be the only woman from the First Dynasty whose royal tomb has been discovered in Abidos so far. Next to her tomb, there is also a group of 41 tombs for her entourage and servants, indicating that these tombs were built during different time periods.
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What Does This Discovery Mean?

Moumen Saad, an ancient Egyptian archaeology professor at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, said that:

  • These jars were filled with wine as part of the funerary items found in Queen Meritneith’s tomb, which also included vessels for food and various items that ancient Egyptians believed the deceased would enjoy in the afterlife.
  • The presence of this quantity of jars containing wine is evidence of the ancient Egyptians‘ use of wine since the early period and the First Dynasty.
  • This discovery is evidence of the localization of the wine industry in Upper Egypt during this period, approximately 3,000 years before BC.
  • Despite the presence of these jars containing wine, the most widespread beverage among the ancient Egyptians was beer.
  • This discovery indicates that there are still many treasures left by the pharaohs that have not been discovered yet and that the Egyptian land gradually reveals.
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