Ancient Egyptian beer- Friday evening at the museum

Danish National Museum (or NatMus) in Copenhagen is very good at organizing some great special events, which are very entertaining, interesting and also educational. (Thumbs up for making history fun)

Off course my special favorites are food related events and activities ;), which also explains a lot, why I insisted that we attend The Beer History event in one cold rainy April Friday. (Funny thing about it is that I actually don't drink beer, but when the magic word Ancient Egyptian is usually added to the mix I can't resist and thats how we ended up there. I really like Ancient Egyptian history and like to read books about it when ever I can).

What makes these museum events extra fun are the fact that the main event is for free and you are able to by extra tickets to lecture/tour/activity what interest you most. (These special events usually combine the topic in the hand with their own collection, which also helps to bring the objects they exhibit in the museum in life).  

"I wish 1000 bottles of beer, my son" or Wall relief in National Museum

"I wish 1000 bottles of beer, my son" or Wall relief in National Museum

For example the picture on the right is an old wall relief from Egyptian tomb, would not be so interesting at the first glance. Yes, it is historical, yes it has some artistic value, but we don't understand what is really going on except that two men are sitting on the chairs and are surrounded by hieroglyphs. But now after attending this Beer in Ancient Egypt event, I know that this relief is about supplies for afterlife. The older guy (bigger men) asks his son (smaller guy) to fill the tomb with misc things needed for afterlife, and among other things father wants/wishes 1000 bottles of beer. Wouldn't have guessed that.  

Also during the evening there was possible to learn more about beer culture during the Renaissance period, learn how to mix your own beer cocktails and off course learn about beer in connection with museum star Egtved girl. (Btw there is beer named after her. Haven't tried it yet, but it is available in museum shop).  So there were lot of historical info about the beer on this Friday evening. 

Friday afternoon Beer History event in National Museum is getting started

Friday afternoon Beer History event in National Museum is getting started

So what I/We learned from this event? 

  • Beer was not a lower class drink in Ancient Egypt. It was drink enjoyed by everyone no matter, from which societal class you were coming and were you kid or old person. 
  • It was low in alcohol (2-3%) based on bread and usually wheat and barley mixture. Unfortunately no recipe has survived, but experimental archeologist are trying to recreate the recipe based on findings. 
  • Beer and bread were mainly made by women. 
  • Also we learned couple of stories about Sekhment in connection with beer and her blood thirst, and how humanity was saved by tricking her with red beer. 

All in all quite educational evening with beer and history. Who is saying that history should be boring and non-beer drinkers couldn't enjoy this beverage. 

The S un and War Goddess  Sekhmet. New Kingdom 1403-1365 BC Temple of Mut in Luxor in National Museum  

The Sun and War Goddess Sekhmet. New Kingdom 1403-1365 BC Temple of Mut in Luxor in National Museum  

Old Egyptian boat in National Museum

Old Egyptian boat in National Museum