Primary mesopotamian sources and studies.

 

To date, only a handful of documents directly related to the brewery or the beer have been discovered for Mesopotamia (Middle East from 4th to 1st millennium BC). These are clay tablets covered with cuneiform characters. Their reading is difficult. They are decrypted, studied and understood by few Assyriologists, experts on this ancient civilization that was one of the cradles of the brewery 8 thousands years ago.

  1. Civil Miguel 1964, A Hymn to the Beer Goddess and a Drinking Song, Studies presented to A. Leo Oppenheim June 7 1964, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 67:89 + Addenda and Corrigenda.
    • The Hymn to Ninkasi, a Sumerian-Akkadian goddess of beer, is the only literary text describing the technical stages of brewing. The clay tablets found so far where this hymn is inscribed are dated from the Old Babylonian period (early 2nd millennium BCE), but they are copies of much older Sumerian versions (mid to late 3rd millennium). That Hymn is followed by a "Drinking Song" which celebrates the benefits of beer. Both are the oldest technical-literary texts on brewing of the world, but not the earliest records about beer which have appeared yet one millennium earlier.
  2. Damerov Peter 2012, Sumerian Beer: the Origins of Brewing Technology in Ancient Mesopotamia. Cuneiform Digital Library Journal 2.
  3. Deimel Anton 1928, Getreidelieferungs(gar)-Listen aus der Zeit Urukaginas und seiner beiden Vorgänger, Orientalia 32.
    • Publishing and translation of the ancient tablets of Lagash devoted to the management of grains, bread and beer. Various kinds of brewing ingredients (raw grains, cooked dough, malt) and sorts of beer. Much of this corpus has benefited from a new study and publication (see Selz 1989 and 1993).
  4. Glassner Jean-Jacques 1991, Les dieux et les hommes. Le vin et la bière en Mésopotamie ancienne. In Le Ferment Divin, D. Fournier & S. D'Onofrio (éds). Edition de la Maison des sciences de l'homme Paris, 127:146.
    • A good summary of the literary data known for the 3rd and 2nd millennia in the Middle East.
  5. Landsberger Beno, Balkan K. 1950, Die Inschrift des Assyrischen Hönigs Irisum, Gefunden in Kültepe 1948, Belleten 14 (No. 53), 219:250.
    • Detailed comments about the brewing containers namzitu and namharu. And also the brewer (LU2.ŠIM + GAR), the "pressing" of the beer maische, and different kinds of beer.
  6. Mierop Van de 1994, The Tell Leilan Tablets 1991 : a preliminary report, Orientalia 63, 305:344.
    • Extensive and meaningful archives centered on beer. 80 receipts of brewing ingredients, 447 notes of beer deliveries to the palace with daily + monthly calculations spanning over 20 months! Mentions of the treshing-floor = malting floor. Receipts of TITAB, SUN, BAPPIR, and AGARINU, all as brewing ingredients. The brewing operations are supervised by a brewer named Mutu-Ramê.
  7. Nissen Hans, Damerov Peter, Englund Robert 1993, Archaic Bookkeeping.
    • Birth of writing and first accounting records. This work is based on a corpus of archaic tablets of Ur and Uruk kept in Berlin. The nature of the records has allowed an understanding of the digital systems used to count different kinds of grains, the volumic units and their multiples. A subset of accounting clay tablets, granted to the brewer ku-shim, has revealed how a brewing workshop was working at the dawn of the third millennium.
  8. Oppenheim Leo 1950, On beer and brewing techniques in ancient Mesopotamia, according to the XXIIIrd Tablet of the series ²ar.ra = ³ubullu. Journal of the American Oriental Society supplement N° 10.
    • The first large-scale work on beer and brewing in the ancient Middle East, done by a famous master in Assyriology. The tablet studied and translated is part of a broad lexical bilingual (Sumerian-Akkadian) set. The 23th tablet encompasses every lexical items dedicated to the beverages, and especially beer, the main fermented drink of the Mesopotamians. The clay tablet lists all the things related to beer and worth to have a written name for them : kinds of grains, malt, technical brewing steps, intermediate brewing ingredients, types of beer, containers, utensils. A genuine must-read study.
  9. Powell Marwin 1994, Metron Ariston: Measure as a Tool for Studying Beer in Ancient Mesopotamia, in Drinking in Ancient Societies, History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, Symposium held in Rome May 17-19 1990, ed. Lucio Milano. History of the Ancient Near East / Studies – VI, 91:119.
    • Powell examines all the Sumerian metrology associated with beer from barley and emmer wheat, after the clay tablets from Girsu, capital of the kingdom of Lagash during the pre-Sargonic era (ca. 2600-2350 BCE) in southern Iraq. By identifying the ingredients of beer and their respective volumes, Powell managed to restore some beer "recipes". The total volume of the ingredients, varying according the kinds of beer, is put ??in connection with the final volume of the beer produced. We can then identify some technical ratios of the brewery used at that times, in the context of a Sumerian palace.
  10. Röllig Wolfgang 1970, Das Bier im Alten Mesopotamien. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und bibliographie des Brauwesens E. V., Berlin.
    • A useful synthesis though a bit old since the works of M. Powell and M. Stol, and a lot of new tablets translated.
  11. Stol Marten 1971, Zur altmesopotamischen Bierbereitung, Bibliotheca Orientalis Jaargang XXVIII, pp. 167-171.
    • Comprehensive complementary study, after Oppenheim (1950) and Civil (1964). Stol provides a general outline of brewing (p. 169) to summarize the entire data set and knowledge gained by the Assyriologists. In addition, Stol identifies the word that means the spent grains (III. Die Treber) and its different states: wet, dried, of various colors.
  12. Stol Marten 1989, "Malz" article in Reallexikon der Assyriologie, vol. VII 5-6, 322:329.
    • Stol reviews the vocabulary related to the malting, the maltster, the brewer, the malt itself and malt products : brewing breads from malt (titapû), wort (billatu), malt syrup, etc.
 
 
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Other articles or studies illuminating specific topics.

 

Every publications of tablets transcribed and translated cannot be mentioned here (see footnotes in the articles of Beer-Studies). Countless economic documents, accounts, letters, literary texts, religious memorials, and inscriptions refer to the beer or the management of the brewery in ancient Mesopotamia.

  
  1. Abush Tzvi 1993, Gilgamesh's Request and Siduri's Denial (Part I), in The Tablet and the Scroll, Near Eastern Studies in Honor of William W. Hallo, 1:15.
    • Very interesting interpretation of the role played by the ale-wife Siduri, its relationship with Gilgamesh the hero, and the general sense of the scene (tavern and sex, beer and civilization, prostitution, immortality) in the eponymous epic.
  2. Alster Bendt 1975, Paradoxical Proverbs and Satire in Sumerian Literature, Journal of Cuneiform Studies 27, 214:225.
    • Beer as a factor of social disorder, and a provision given by the livings to the "inhabitants" of the Hereafter (beer + wisdom), …
  3. Archi Alfonso 1999, The Steward and his jar, IRAQ 61, 147:158.
    • The ceremonial drinking vessel reserved for the cupbearer to the king's service in the kingdom of Ebla (ancient Syria). The vase lahanu or lahtan is also used to store malt, TITAB, beer (ŠE+TIN) and a sour dough (em?um).
  4. Assante Julia 2000, The Erotic Reliefs of Ancient Mesopotamia. PhD Columbia University.
    • Amazing study of erotic terra-cotta + Assyrian lead reliefs. Drinking scenes with coitus a tergo in the context of beer taverns. Author's conclusions : no institutional or "sacred" prostitution in Babylonia ! This theme is a mere fantasy build afterwards by Greek authors, chiefly Herodotus and his compilators.
  5. Bagherpour Kashani Natascha 2000, The 'Cultic Vessel' from Inandíktepe was it used for alcohol ?, ARAM 17, 211:220.
    • A large Hittite jar discovered at Inandiktepe was a jar of beer. This is deduced from its S-shape, its narrow neck, and 4 pictorial bands depicted around its body : scenes of rituals and festivals.
  6. Beaulieu Paul-Alain 1995, The Brewers Of Nippur, Journal of Cuneiform Studies 47, 85:96.
    • Brewers in the city of Nippur in the Neo-Babylonian period: prebends, beer offerings in the temples, professional organizations, affiliations between brewers.
  7. Bottéro Jean 1991, Les dieux et les hommes. Le vin et la bière, in Le Ferment Divin, ed D. Fournier et S. D'Onofrio, Coll. Ethnologie de la France 12, 127:146.
    • A classical overview of that question.
  8. Bottéro Jean 1994, Boisson, banquet et vie sociale en Mésopotamie, in Drinking in Ancient Societies, History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, Symposium held in Rome May 17-19 1990, ed. Lucio Milano. History of the Ancient Near East / Studies – VI, 3:13.
    • A classical overview of that question. Idem Bottéro 1991.
  9. Braidwood Robert, Sauer Jonathan, Helbaek Hans, Mangelsdorf Paul, Cutler Hugh, Coon Carleton, Linton Ralph, Steward Julian, Oppenheim Leo, 1953, Symposium: Did Man Once Live by Beer Alone? American Anthropologist 55(4), 515:523.
    • A very relevant question ! But no definitive answers.
  10. Cassin Elena 1961, Note sur le "Commerce de Carrefour" en Mésopotamie ancienne. Journal of the Economy and Social History of the Orient 4, 164:167.
    • The "Commerce des Carrefours" ("Trade at crossroads") refers to a small scale trade of beer brewed locally by women.
  11. Charpin Dominique 2005, Le statut des cabaretiers à l'époque paléo-babylonienne, NABU 2005 n°1, 2.
    • Trade tax paid in grain by an innkeeper to the mayor (Samsu-Iluna's reign, year 7). Others examples where they are paid in silver.
  12. Chazan Michael, Lehner Mark 1990, An ancient Analogy: Pot Baked Bread in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, PALEORIENT 16/2, 21:36.
    • Resumption of Millard's hypothesis (Iraq 50) about the origin and function of the Bevelled Rim Bowls, a typical pottery of the Uruk period (4000-3100 BCE). These bowls with a thick edge and rim are used to cook the bread dough. They follow the development of the leavened bread and beer in ancient Near East (ditto Egypt) => new technologies at the service of palaces and temples.
  13. Civil Miguel 1964 ( A Hymn to the Beer Goddess and a Drinking Song )  See Mesopotamian sources above.
  14. Civil Miguel 1976, The Song of the Plowing Oxen, in Kramer Anniversary Volume, Cuneiform Studies in Honor of Samuel Noah Kramer, AOAT 25), 83-95.
    • Agricultural rites and beer : the ox sings the benefits of cereal, the related rituals, and the "ritual of the tavern-brewery".
  15. Cohen Mark E. 1981, Sumerian Hymnology: The Eršemma.
    • Three literary compositions are involving the beer : No. 185 "Its old woman [...] beer and butter", No. 32 "I am the Lady of the Eanna ! Oh the Brewery, the beer-vat (and) the [...]-vessel ! ", and finaly No. 165 "the fly denouncing Dumuzi is thanked by the Goddess Inanna and may frequent the taverns for ever and for beer  ... ".
  16. Courtois Martine 1991, Les ferments interdits dans la Bible, in Le Ferment Divin, ed D. Fournier et S. D'Onofrio, Coll. Ethnologie de la France 12, 63-76.
    • Some Jewish holidays like Passover prohibit any contact with any fermented or likely fermenting material. Leavened bread and beer are strictly prohibited.
  17. Crawford H.E.W. 1983, More fire installations from Abu Salabikh, Comptes-Rendus des Rencontres Assyriologiques Internationales 29, 32:34.
    • Presence of ovens combined with overturned jars = ovens for brewers and/or bakers.
  18. Damerov Peter 1996, Food Production and Social Status as Documented in Proto-Cuneiform Texts. In Food and the Status Quest, ed. Polly Wiessner and Wulf Schiefenhövel, 149-169. Oxford USA.
    • According to the earliest cuneiform tablets, a regular beer production coincides with an already stratified society or soon to be so. This social state can be pinpointed thanks to the rates of beer allocations.
  19. Dayagi-Lendels Michal 1999, Drink and Be Merry. Wine and Beer in Ancient Times. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
    • A short final chapter on beer.
  20. Deheselle Danielle 1994, La bière en Babylonie selon les tablettes kassites de Nippur, AKKADICA 86.
    • The Kassite period is not well known, but many hints shows that the brewing tradition has remained very much alive after the old-babylonian times. Nippur is a central city of Babylonia.
  21. Deheselle Danielle 2004, Meuniers et brasseurs kassites, travailleurs itinérants, in Comptes-Rendus des Rencontres Assyriologiques Internationales 46, 273-285.
    • Kassites dynasties ruled over Babylonia (1595-1155). Documents show that the same brewers move from town to town to perform on-site brews. An evolution towards a professionalization of the brewing craft. The brewer is no longer attached to a "house" (be it a palace, a sanctuary, a private house or a tavern).
  22. Durand Jean-Marie, Charpin Dominique 1980, Remarques sur l'élevage intensif dans l'Iraq ancien, Colloque CNRS n° 580 : Archéologie de l'Iraq du début de l'époque néolithique à 333 av. notre ère, 131:156.
    • Brewers responsible for fattening cattle. pp 147 to 152, noteworthy references to fattening (Ur III period) or survival feeding (Old-Babylonian times), with translation of private letters. Different treatment for the fat animals devoted to religious cults, and for oxen used by private owners and fed with brewery waste, the spent grains.
  23. Ellison Rosemary 1984, Methods of food preparation in Mesopotamia (c. 3000-60 BC), Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 27, 89:98.
    • The beer pp 91-92. Few general comments + standard bibliographic references. The author proposes an hypothesis on the evolution of brewing techniques during the Kassite period (1595-1155) and the abandonment of bread beer (BAPPIR), except in the religious sphere, but her assumption is based solely on lexicographical elements.
  24. Englund Robert 1988, Administrative Timekeeping in Ancient Mesopotamia, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient XXXI, 121-185.
    • Although Englund devotes his article to computation and time units, we learn in pp. 153-165 about some units used for the accounting of grains in relation to daily or monthly (30 days) rations (nimda).
  25. Englund Robert 2001, Grain Accounting Practices in Archaic Mesopotamia, in Changing Views on Ancient Eastern Mathematics, ed. J. Høyrup, P. Damerow ed., BBVO 19, 1-35.
    • Ratio grains/beer, grains/malt, grains/groats-cakes. Various kinds of brewing ingredients and sorts of beer.
  26. Farber Walter, Kümmel Hans Martin, Römer Wilhelm 1987, Religiöse Texte. Rituale und Beschwörungen I,Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testament II/1
    • Beer comes with rituals of oaths in two ways. The sworn texts refer to beer or any of the ingredients to brew it (malt, chewed grains, bread) to ensure the good faith and true words from those who are swearing. Moreover, the sharing of beer between those who have sworn can seal their common oath. Once the beer has been drank, one may not deny his own word.
  27. Foster Benjamin R. 1982, Umma in the Sargonic Period. Memoirs of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences volume XX.
    • Mu-iti and Ur-Sara archives : critical clay tablets and analyzes. Beer types classified by accounting tablets according to their specific ratios: vol. grains / vol. beer = 30/30, 50/30 and 70/30. The tablets of Group C are interesting (deliveries of brewing ingredients) + nig-ar-ra (a brewing ingredient too often forgotten) + origins & titles of the recipients. Head brewer, stocks 110 gur of barley for a brewer, beer types 30/60, 50/60 and 70/60 dedicated to regular offerings in temples.
  28. Fronzaroli Pelio 1994, Osservazioni sul lessico delle bevande dei testi di Ebla, in Drinking in Ancient Societies, History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, Symposium held in Rome May 17-19 1990, ed. Lucio Milano. History of the Ancient Near East / Studies – VI. pp. 121-127.
    • Ebla (palace, city and kingdom in same time was found on the North-East border of the mesopotamian world (today Syria). Here again, beer plays a pivotal economic and social role.
  29. Gelb Ignace J. 1991, Earliest Land Tenure systems in the Near East : Ancient Kudurrus, Oriental Institute Publications 104.
    • Several kudurrus including one dedicated to a contract of sale with sharing beer, falsely called "Blau monument" in popular articles.
  30. Goetze Albrecht 1956, Tavern Keepers and the Like in Ancient Babylonia, in Studies in Honor of Benno Landsberger on his seventy-fifth birthday April 21 1965, Assyriological Studies 16, 211:216.
    • Duties of the tenants of beer tavern : they are registered, their profession is declared, and they must pay to the palace a kind of tax. The village or city chief is liable to the palace on them.
  31. Hahn Eduard 1927, Das Auftreten des Hopfens bei der Bierbereitung und seine Verbreitung in der Frühgeschichte der Völker, in Bier und Bierbereitung bei den Völkern der Urzeit II. Die Völker unter babylonischen Kulturenfluss Auftreten des gehopften Bieres. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und Bibliographie des Brauwesens, Institut für Sürungsgewerbe, Berlin; pp. 9-14.
    • A quest at all costs and without hope of the hoppy beer in antiquity. Influence of the Reinheitsgebot!
  32. Harlan J.R. 1967, A Wild Wheat Harvest in Turkey, Archaeology 10, 197:201.
    • Evidence that the picking of wild wheat practiced with a simple clay sickle induces a sufficient harvest to feed a small population. Harlan refutes the theory of the grains domestication caused by the inefficiency of the collection of wild varieties in Anatolia. This experimental proof dismisses the supposedly impossible grain stocks before their domestication. To be taken in account when we try to identify the origin of the brewery in one area of the globe
  33. Harris Rivkah 1971, Ancient Sippar. A demographic Study of an Old-Babylonian City (1894-1595), Uitgaven van het Nederlands Histrorisch-Archaeologisch Instituut te Istambul (PIHANS) 36.
    • Tavernkeeper paying a fee. Brewer delivering juniper berries to a baker, hiring the services of a milling slave for one year, + all sales of tavern by naditu + full cityscape including tavern situated on squares).
  34. Homan Michael 2004, Beer, Barley, and  שכר in the Hebrew Bible in Richard Elliott Friedman and William H.C. Propp, eds., Le David Maskil: A Birthday Tribute for David Noel Freedman, 25–38.
    • Homan contributes to an old debate that divides experts. Does Shekhar in the biblical texts refer to beer, to wine, or both ?
  35. Hrozný Friedrich 1910, Über das Bier im alten Babylonien und Ägypten. Aus dem Anzeiger der philosophisch-historischen Klasse des kais. Akademie der Wissenschaften von 7 Dezember (Jahrgang 1910, Nr. XXVI). Wien.
    • Among the first ones, Hrozný suspected that the favorite fermented beverage of ancient oriental peoples was not wine but beer. But the understanding of cuneiforms tablets still raised many problems and pitfalls at his time. Hrozný has opted for a comparison with Egypt, where the omnipresence of beer in ancient times was not questioned by scholars for it is based upon Greek and Latin sources.
  36. Hrozný Friedrich 1913, Getreide im alten Babylonien. Ein Beitrag zur Kultur- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte des alten Orients. Wien.
    • A seminal study. After his first study in 1910, Hrozný convincingly shows in 1913 that beer was the favorite beverage of peoples living in the country of the Bible, not the wine of Noah. He has isolated and translated from the oldest cuneiform tablets published in his time the words naming cereals. He showed that these items were not only used to make bread, but also a starchy drink able to ferments, likely a kind of beer. After him, the idea of a beer predominance in the Bible's land still faced great opposition for decades amongst scholars and public, until the deciphering of more and more cuneiform tablets collections. Hrozný's work remains instructive about a general disdain over beer as a more spread and essential beverage than wine during human history. That is still the case nowadays, more than a century later.
  37. Huber E. 1926, Bier und Bierbereitung im alten Babylonien, in Bier und Bierbereitung bei den Völkern der Urzeit I. Babylonien und Ägypten. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und Bibliographie des Brauwesens, Institut für Sürungsgewerbe, Berlin; 9:28.
    • Very broad study and outdated. Better refer to Röllig 1970.
  38. Huber E. 1926, Bier und Bierbereitung im alten Ägyten, in Bier und Bierbereitung bei den Völkern der Urzeit I. Babylonien und Ägypten. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und Bibliographie des Brauwesens, Institut für Sürungsgewerbe, Berlin; 33:54.
    • Idem.
  39. Huber E. 1927, Bier und Bierbereitung bei den alten Hebräern, in Bier und Bierbereitung bei den Völkern der Urzeit II. Die Völker unter babylonischen Kulturenfluss Auftreten des gehopften Bieres. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und Bibliographie des Brauwesens, Institut für Sürungsgewerbe, Berlin; 15:37.
    • A quest at any cost and without hope of a hopped beer in antiquity! Influenced by Reinheitsgebot!
  40. Huber E. 1927, Bier bei den muslimischen Völkern, in Bier und Bierbereitung bei den Völkern der Urzeit II. Die Völker unter babylonischen Kulturenfluss Auftreten des gehopften Bieres. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und Bibliographie des Brauwesens, Institut für Sürungsgewerbe, Berlin; 69:95.
    • Idem !
  41. Huber E. 1927, Bier und Bierbereitung bei den indogermanischen Völkern in Persien und am Kaukasus, in Bier und Bierbereitung bei den Völkern der Urzeit II. Die Völker unter babylonischen Kulturenfluss Auftreten des gehopften Bieres. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und Bibliographie des Brauwesens, Institut für Sürungsgewerbe, Berlin; 45:68.
    • An investigation enlarged to the borders of Caucasus and Persia . This pioneering global perspective is the starting point for the studies of the Brewery History sponsored by the GGBB. The point is to show that beer is a very ancient universal drink.
  42. Huber E. 1928, Das Bier im fernen Osten und in Äthiopien, in Bier und Bierbereitung bei den Völkern der Urzeit III. Der ferne Osten und Äthiopen. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und Bibliographie des Brauwesens E. V., Institut für Sürungsgewerbe, Berlin; 21:96.
    • Idem, but this time the investigation is moving to Africa and Far East (China, Japan) to show that the traditional rice beer relate easily to the general history of beer
  43. Joffe A.1998, Alcohol and social complexity in ancient western Asia. Current Anthropology 39(3): 297:322.
    • Joffe's thesis can be put in simple terms. The widespread circulation of fermented beverages is a marker of the complexity of social organizations (hierarchies, specialization of roles, social stratification). The documents of the ancient Near East are summoned as proofs.
  44. Katz Solomon, Voigt Mary 1986, “Bread and Beer: The Early Use of Cereals in the Human Diet”, Expedition 28(2), 23:34.
    • Continuation but not completion of the studies and debates launched by Braidwood and his colleagues in 1953 about the origin of the beer.
  45. Katz Solomon, Fritz Maytag 1991, Brewing an Ancient Beer, Archaeology July/August, 24:33.
    • How, but above all, why recreate a beer brewed like a mesopotamian one, on the ground of beer receipes inspired by cuneiform tablets (notably the Hymn to Ninkasi ) ?
  46. Kujita & Finlaysonb 2008, Evidence for food storage and pre-domestication in Jordan Valley 11.000 BC – PNAS.
    • Evidence of a centralized storage of food before the domestication of cereals in the Middle East. The creation of collective stocks of grains is usually presented as a consequence of this domestication with a subsequent early agriculture.
  47. Lambert W. G. 1982, The Hymn to the queen of Nippur, in Zikir Šumin, Assyriological Studies Presented to F. R. Kraus on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday (AS 50), 173:218.
    • Hymn to Ištar = Šiduri. The final text is damaged, evoking Ištar and Ninkasi and Siris as goddesses of beer : "... Siras and Ninkasi ... beer, fresh beer ... the mountain, ... sweet beer, light beer, oil and saliva ... Seat on the higher, Ištar, let Anu, Enlil and Ea sit with you ..., sweet drink in a lapis (cup?) ... Let them drink beer ! Drink! Drink! ". + note IV 52.
  48. Maurits van LOON 1977, 1974 and 1975 Preliminary Results of the Excavations at Selenkahiye Near Meskene, Syria, Annual of the American School of Oriental Research 44, 97:112.
    • The remains of a brewing workshop discovered in the archaeological excavations at Selenkahiye.
  49. Lee Coursey Cheryl 1997, Shaping, Stewing, Serving, and Brewing: Uruk period pottery production and consumption in alluvial Mesopotamia. PhD State University of New York at Binghamton.
    • Critical data given about terracotta containers designed to brew beer.
  50. Lutz Frederick 1922, Viticulture and Brewing in the ancient orient.
    • A couple of pertinent references, but very dated concerning the sources and approach to the issue.
  51. Maier Aren M., Garfinkel Yosef 1992, Bone and Metal Straw-tip Beer-strainers from the Ancient Near East, LEVANT 24, 218:223.
    • Give some clues to : 1) draw the expansion area of beer in ancient Near-East. 2) better know the "primitive" techniques for filtering beer.
  52. Mallowan M. E. L. 1937, The Excavations at Tall Chagar Bazar, … Second Campaign 1936, IRAQ 4, 91-154; pl. XII à XIV.
    • Presenting the 1936 excavations. Situation Habur + Beer Strainers level 1 (date from 1900 to 1600 BCE) (pp 99-100) + other ref. to beer filters (Giyan Tepe (Iran), Deve Haryuk (Syria) and T. el Yahudiyeh (Palestine).
  53. Maul Stefan M. 1994, Der Kneipenbesuch als Heil Verfahren (La visite du cabaret comme procédé de salut), BaF 18, 39:59; 70:71; 85:100; 105:113; 166:190; 196; 218; 312:323; 387:408; index.
    • Outstanding work on the Release Rituals (namburbi) + reconstructed scenes of offerings in beer taverns of ancient Babylon.
  54. McGovern P., Badler V., Michel R. 1992, Chemical evidence for ancient beer. Nature 360, 24.
    • Evidences of beer residues in the bottom of a beer jar discovered at Godin Tepe Godin Tepe (Iran), Ubaid period ( 3800 BCE).
  55. McGovern Patrick & al. 1999, A Funerary Feast Fit For King Midas. Nature 402: 863-864.
    • Two large copper cauldrons found in a royal tomb at the site of Gordion (central Turkey) and containing the remains of a combined fermented beverage : beer, wine and mead at once. The tomb dates from about 1900 BCE.
  56. McNeil Robert Clayton 1970, The "Messengers Texts" of the Third Ur Dynasty. PhD University of Pennsylvania.
    • One of references about the Messengers Texts with that of Jones and Snyder. Complete study of the clays tablets from Girsu and Umma, sorted into 14 categories + one special for Umma.
  57. Michalowski Piotr 1989, The Lamentation over the Destruction of Sumer and Ur.
    • Royal rituals with beer, beautiful quotes + a plentiful biblio of specialized literature, epic, myth, ...
  58. Michalowski Piotr 1994, The Drinking Gods: Alcohol in Mesopotamian Ritual and Mythology, in Drinking in Ancient Societies, History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, Symposium held in Rome May 17-19 1990, ed. Lucio Milano. History of the Ancient Near East / Studies – VI. pp. 27-44.
    • Banquets of gods and mythology, preparation of beer by humans, the role of beer in the scheme for daily offerings that Mesopotamian clergy presents to deities.
  59. Michel Cécile 2009, "Dis-moi ce que tu bois …". Boisson et buveurs en Haute-Mésopotamie et Anatolie au début du IIè millénaire av. J.C., in Et il y eut un esprit dans l'Homme. Jean Bottéro et la Mésopotamie. Travaux de la Maison René-Ginouvès 6, Paris.
    • Synthesis of available documents by a specialist of Anatolia and Assyrian merchants in the 19th century BC.
  60. Mierop Van de 1994, The Tell Leilan Tablets 1991 : a preliminary report, Orientalia 63, 305:344.
    • Important beer archive. 80 receipts for brewery ingredients, 447 for deliveries to the palace with daily + monthly details over 20 months!; Ref. Treshing-floor = malting area, receipt for TITAB and SUN, focus on BAPPIR, AGARINU, and brewing supervised by the brewer Mutu-ramê.
  61. Milano Luciano 1987, Food Rations at Ebla: a preliminary account on the ration list coming from the Ebla Palace Archive L. 2712, Mari Annales de Recherches Interdisciplinaires 5, 519:550.
    • Comprehensive analysis of deliveries of barley and beer (SE.TIN) and TITAB for the Palace, the Elderly, and the villages (gurus and dam) in Ebla, a syrian kingdom in 3rd millenium BCE. Outstanding (full and includes AoF 13).
  62. Milano Lucio 1994, Vino e birra in Oriente. Confini geografici e confini culturali, in Drinking in Ancient Societies, History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, Symposium held in Rome May 17-19 1990, ed. Lucio Milano. History of the Ancient Near East / Studies – VI. pp. 441-469.
    • The coexistence of wine and beer in the ancient Near East.
  63. Del Monte Guiseppe F. 1995, Bier und Wein bei dem Hethitern, in Studio Historiae Ardens, Ancient Near Eastern Studies Presented to Philo H. J. Houwink ten Cate on the occasion of his 65th Birthday), 211:224.
    • Complete study about beer and wine among the Hittites.
  64. Neumann Hans 1994, Beer as a Means of Compensation for Work in Mesopotamia during the Ur III Period, in Drinking in Ancient Societies, History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, Symposium held in Rome May 17-19 1990, ed. Lucio Milano. History of the Ancient Near East / Studies – VI. pp. 321-331.
    • Beer is given as a compensation for work. Rations of bread and beer to different class of people.
  65. Oettinger Norbert 1976, Die Militarischen Eide der Hethiter, Studien zu den Bogazkÿ-Texten 22.
    • Reference about malt, yeast, fermentation and beer bread.
  66. Oppenheim 1950 voir Mesopotamian sources above.
  67. Philippe M. 1926, Die Braukunst der alten Babylonier im Vergleich zu den heutigen Braumethoden, in Bier und Bierbereitung bei den Völkern der Urzeit I. Babylonien und Ägypten. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und Bibliographie des Brauwesens, Institut für Sürungsgewerbe, Berlin; pp. 29-32.
    • The author tries to find the brewing ratios after the cuneiform tablets. Innovative approach based on the fundamentals of beer brewing. The laws of biochemistry were applicable to Mesopotamians brewers as well as today. One can find their technical ratios hidden behind the volumes of raw materials used and the volumes of beer brewed.
  68. Pollock Susan 2003. Feasts, Funerals, and Fast Food in Early Mesopotamian States. In The Archaeology and Politics of Food and Feasting in Early States and Empires, ed. Tamara L. Bray, 17-38. New-York.
    • The distribution and consumption of foods and drinks help to build power social relations through practices of commensality more or less ritualized (feasts, meals, banquets, etc.). Demonstation with the cities of southern Mesopotamia at the time of Archaic Dynastic (2900-2350 BC). Beer is the main fermented drink of the city-states. Their economy is based on the cultivation of wheat and barley.
  69. Powell Marwin 1994, Metron Ariston: Measure as a Tool for Studying Beer in Ancient Mesopotamia, in Drinking in Ancient Societies, History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, Symposium held in Rome May 17-19 1990, ed. Lucio Milano. History of the Ancient Near East / Studies – VI, 91:119.
    • Powell re-examine toute la métrologie sumérienne associée aux bières d'orge et de blé amidonnier, d'après les tablettes de Girsu, capitale du royaume de Lagash à l'époque présargonique (env. 2600 à 2350), dans le sud de l'Iraq. En identifiant à la fois les ingrédients de la bière et leurs volumes respectifs, Powell parvient à restituer quelques "recettes" types. Le volume global des ingrédients, variable selon les sortes de bière, mis en rapport avec le volume final de bière produite, permet de dégager certains ratios de la brasserie à cette époque, dans le contexte d'un palais sumérien.
  70. Sallagerger Walther 1996, Der Babylonische Töpfer und seine Gefässe. Nach Urkunden altsumerischer bis altbabylonischer Zeit sowie lexikalischen und literarischen Zeugnissen. Mesopotamian History and Environment, Memoirs Volume III. Published by the University of Ghent.
    • Essential synthesis of all the vessels known by the Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets and the excavations.
  71. Schmandt-Besserat Denise 2001. Feasting in the Ancient Near East. In Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food, Politics and Power, ed. Michael Dietler and Brian Hayden, Smithsonian Institution Press, 391-403.
    • Archaic seals in relation to feasts and banquets in 3rd millenium BCE.
  72. Selz Gehard 1989, Altsumerische Verwaltungstexte aus Lagas Teil I, Freiburger AltOrientalische Studien, Band 15,1.
    • Sumerian economical tablets from Hermitage Museum, Leningrad.
  73. Selz Gehard 1993, Altsumerische Verwaltungstexte aus Lagas Teil 2, Freiburger AltOrientalische Studien, Band 15,2.
    • Sumerian economical tablets from the Harvard Semitic Museum.
  74. Selz Gudrun 1983, Die Bankettszene, Freiburger AltOrientalische Studien, Band 11.
    • Analysis of banquet scenes in the archaic glyptic.
  75. Stol Marten 1971 et 1989 voir Mesopotamian sources above.
  76. Stol Marten 1991, De Babyloniërs dronken bier (Phoenix 37/1, 24-39).
    • Synthesis. In the same issue, an article written by Rammant-Peeters on beer and wine in ancient Egypt (6:23).
  77. Stol Marten 1994, Beer in Neo-Babylonian Times, in Drinking in Ancient Societies, History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, Symposium held in Rome May 17-19 1990, ed. Lucio Milano. History of the Ancient Near East / Studies – VI. pp. 155-183.
    • Marten Stol takes up the question of the brewery as it has evolved in the Neo-Babylonian period (900-550), on the basis of a tight lexical analysis. Identification of ingredients, brewing containers, specialized instruments used by the brewer, and final products (kinds of beer, spent grains).
  78. Stuhl K. 1928, Die Sumerer-Semnonen und das Bier bei den Sumerern und Indern, in Bier und Bierbereitung bei den Völkern der Urzeit III. Der ferne Osten und Äthiopen. Gesellschaft für die Geschichte und Bibliographie des Brauwesens E. V., Institut für Sürungsgewerbe, Berlin; pp. 9-20.
    • A deserving essay when published. It tried to link the respective brewing traditions in Sumer (Mesopotamia) and in the Indo-European area (India-Pakistan) when both have developed during Ancient times.
  79. Szarzynska Krystyna 1993, Offerings for the goddess Inana in archaic Uruk, Revue d'Assyriologie 87, 7:28.
    • Some signs and pictograms picturing beer jars and their support on archaic Uruk tablets, early third millennium.
  80. Trümpelmann Leo 1981, Eine Kneipe in Susa, in Iranica Antiqua Vol. XVI In Memoriam Roman Ghirshman, 35:44.
    • Mention of a beer tavern at Suse, middle 2nd mil. With ref. to Tell el-Der. Caution ! Critics of J. Assante (2000, pp. 50-51) : neither tavern, nor prostitution in Babylonia (and Susiane ?).
  81. Viviani Maria Teresa 2005, The Role of Alcoholic Beverages in Sumer and Akkad: an analysis of iconographic patterns (4000-2000 B.C.), ARAM 17, 1:50.
    • Inventory of the types of scenes: suck up beer with a straw from the same jar, a toast with a cup, offerings or prayers to the gods, pour a libation of beer, hold a beer pot with both arms, gods raise a toast in front of human beings. Rich iconography pp 19-50.
  82. Zarnkov Martin, Speileder Elmar, Back Werner, Sacher Bertram, Otto Adelheid, Einwag Berthold 2006, Interdisziplinäre Untersuchungen zum altorientalischen Bierbrauen in der Siedlung von Tall Bazi/Nordsyrien von rund 3200 Jahren, Technikgeschichte Band 73 Heft 1, 3:25.
    • On the site of Tell Bazi (North Syria), archaeologists have discovered between 1993 and 1999 almost intact brewing installation scattered inside thirty houses in the West Town, dated 13th century BCE. A German team at the University Weihenstephan of Munich conducted in September 2004 and April 2005 an experimental malting and brewing on the site of Tell Bazi to try to brew beer on site with ancient techniques, raw materials and local climatic conditions. This experience helped to verify some assumptions about the techniques used by the Mesopotamian brewers in the late second millennium BCE. In particular, the conditions of malting grain, making cold wort from malt, fermentation and possibilities of maintaining a healthy beer in a hot climate were tested. Positive results and conclusive feasability.
  83. Zarnkov Martin, Otto Adelheid, Einwag Berthold 2011, Interdisciplinary Investigations into the Brewing Technology of the Ancient Near East and the Potential of the Cold Mashing Process, in Liquid Bread. Beer and Brewing in Cross-Cultural Perspective ed. by Wulf Schiefenhövel & Hellen Macbeth, 47:54.
    • Abstract in English of Zarnkov (2006). Details about the brewing experience are omitted.

 

   

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Proche-Orient moderne.

  We can count on one hand the few and scarce studies about the history of brewing in Middle East during modern times. Only biotechnologists and nutritionists have pay attention to this question and scrutinized the biochemical composition of the traditional beverages in this part of the world.

 

  1. Auballe-Sallenave Françoise 2007, An Essay on the Situation of Alcoholic Beverages (Wine) Among the Muslim Societies of the Mediterranean, In ven, Viennese Ethnomedecine Newsletter, Institute for the History of Medecine – Vienna, X(1), 8:20.
    • After the Hegire, the classical literature, essentially Persian, has granted to fermented beverages few great medicinal virtues. Moreover, al-kahal (hence our term alcohol) denotes in arabic a purely chemical volatile compound that becomes a research object for the great scholars of the Muslim world. Fermentation and distillation are studied for medicinal or alchemical purposes.
  2. Chebel 2008, Anthologie du Vin et de L'Ivresse en Islam.
    • Famous poetry of Abu Nuwas celebrating drunkenness. Persian, born in Ahwaz (Iranian province) in 139 AH and died in Baghdad in 195 AH, we find traces in his poetry of the use of fermented beverages originating from Persia and even India. His mother, named Gulban, was Iranian.
  3. Gassem Mustafa A.A.2002, A microbiological study of Sobia: a fermented beverage in the Western province of Saudi Arabia, World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology 18, 173–177.
    • The sobia is a traditional barley beer, although little fermented.
  4. Gassem Mustafa A.A.2003, Physico-chemical properties of sobia: a traditional fermented beverage in western province of saudi arabia, Ecology of Food and Nutrition 42, 25–35.
    • The sobia is a traditional barley beer, although little fermented. Almost same content as Gassem 2002.
  5. Gotcheva V., Pandiella S., Angelov A., Roshkova Z. & Colin Webb 2001, Monitoring the Fermentation of the traditional Bulgarian beverage Boza, International Journal of Food Science and Technology 36, 129-134.
    • The boza (Bulgaria) is part of the large family of beers produced by acid hydrolysis. This is a very old brewing tradtion in Balkan and Anatolian countries. See Maurizio (1932, 1933) for further historical references.
  6. Hancioglu Ömre, Karapinar 1997, Microflora of Boza, a traditional fermented beverage, International Journal of Food Microbiology 35, 271-274.
    • The boza (Turkey) is part of the large family of beers produced by acid hydrolysis. This is a very old brewing tradtion in Balkan and Anatolian countries. 
  7. Köse Ergun, Yüsel Ufuk 2003, Chemical Composition of Boza, Journal of Food Technology, 1(4), 191-193.
    • The boza (Turkey) is part of the large family of beers produced by acid hydrolysis. Complement Ömre, Karapinar 1997.
  8. Monteil Vincent 1979, Abû-Nuwâs. Le vin, le vent, la vie. Poèmes traduits et présentés par Vincent Monteil. Ed. Sindbad.
    • Famous poems by Abu Nuwas celebrating drunkenness. Persian, born in Ahwaz (Iranian province) in 139 AH and died in Baghdad in 195 AH, we find traces in his poetry of the use of fermented beverages originating from Persia and even India. His mother, named Gulban, was Iranian.
  9. Yegin Sirma, Üren Ali 2008, Biogenic amine content of boza. A traditional cereal-based, fermented Turkish beverage, Food Chemistry 111(4), 983-987.
    • The boza (Turkey) is part of the large family of beers produced by acid hydrolysis.

 

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22/05/2020  Christian Berger