Cheers! 5,000-year-old wine collection discovered in tomb of ancient Egypt’s first female pharaoh


ABYDOS, Egypt — This provides a complete new which means to “growing old like positive wine.” Archaeologists from Germany and Austria have found a treasure trove of wine within the tomb of Egypt’s first feminine pharaoh.

The staff, led by Christiana Köhler from the College of Vienna, was conducting an excavation of Queen Meret-Neith’s tomb after they found hundreds of large wine jars. Remarkably, a few of these jars had been in pristine situation, even preserving remnants of 5,000-year-old wine inside them. Inscriptions found inside the tomb additional point out Queen Meret-Neith’s vital affect, revealing her management over pivotal authorities sectors, together with the treasury.

The tomb complex of Queen Meret-Neith in Abydos during excavation. The Queen's burial chamber lies in the centre of the complex and is surrounded by the secondary tombs of the courtiers and servants
The tomb advanced of Queen Meret-Neith in Abydos throughout excavation. The Queen’s burial chamber lies within the centre of the advanced and is surrounded by the secondary tombs of the courtiers and servants. (Credit score: EC Köhler)

Meret-Neith, a key determine round 3,000 BC, stands out not solely as essentially the most influential lady of her time but additionally as the only real lady to have her personal monumental tomb in Egypt’s first royal cemetery at Abydos. The staff’s new findings have reignited discussions about her distinctive place in historical past, as her true id stays shrouded in thriller. It additionally hints at the potential for Meret-Neith being the primary feminine pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

Excavations in the tomb complex of Queen Meret-Neith in Abydos
Excavations within the tomb advanced of Queen Meret-Neith in Abydos. (Credit score: EC Köhler)

The expansive tomb advanced of Meret-Neith within the Abydos desert is just not restricted to her burial chamber. It additionally encompasses the tombs of 41 courtiers and servants. Made primarily from unbaked mud bricks, clay, and wooden, the intricate construction showcases a number of development phases spanning a comparatively prolonged interval. Such proof challenges earlier beliefs of human sacrifices accompanying royal burials in the course of the 1st Dynasty – an idea steadily assumed however by no means definitively confirmed.

These excellently preserved grape seeds were found in the sealed wine jars in the tomb of Queen Meret-Neith in Abydos
These excellently preserved grape seeds had been discovered within the sealed wine jars within the tomb of Queen Meret-Neith in Abydos. (Credit score: EC Köhler)

Köhler’s staff is the results of a collaboration amongst a number of establishments, together with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, the College of Vienna, the Vienna College of Know-how in Austria, and Lund College in Sweden. Their work has been made potential by way of the help of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the German Analysis Basis (DFG).

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