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Ancient Egyptian herbal wines

Article

Jan van der Crabben
by Patrick E. McGoverna, Armen Mirzoianb, and Gretchen R. Halla (Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA)
published on 25 June 2013
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Chemical analyses of ancient organics absorbed into pottery jars from the beginning of advanced ancient Egyptian culture, ca. 3150 B.C., and continuing for millennia have revealed that a range of natural products—specifically, herbs and tree resins—were dispensed by grape wine. These findings provide chemical evidence for ancient Egyptian organic medicinal remedies, previously only ambiguously documented in medical papyri dating back to ca. 1850 B.C. They illustrate how humans around the world, probably for millions of years, have exploited their natural environments for effective plant remedies, whose active compounds have recently begun to be isolated by modern analytical techniques.

Before the rise of modern medicine and likely extending back into the Paleolithic period, humans treated disease and physical ailments by experimenting with natural products derived from plants, other animals, and minerals. Fruit-bearing trees, which appeared around 100 million years ago (Mya), offered unparalleled access to sugar and ethanol. The latter had already established themselves as prime energy sources in the animal kingdom. The sweet liquid that oozes out of ruptured ripened fruit provides the ideal conditions of water and nutrients for yeast on their surfaces to multiply and convert the sugar into alcohol.

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 5, (2009) vol. 106, no. 18

Editorial Review This article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.

Written by Patrick E. McGoverna, Armen Mirzoianb, and Gretchen R. Halla (Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA), linked by Jan van der Crabben, published 25 June 2013. Source URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2678600/pdf/zpq7361.pdf.

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APA Style

PA), P. E. M. A. M. a. G. R. H. (. A. S. C. f. A. U. o. P. M. o. A. a. A. P. (2013, June 25). Ancient Egyptian herbal wines. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/article/501/ancient-egyptian-herbal-wines/

Chicago Style

PA), Patrick E. McGoverna, Armen Mirzoianb, and Gretchen R. Halla (Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia,. "Ancient Egyptian herbal wines." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified June 25, 2013. https://www.worldhistory.org/article/501/ancient-egyptian-herbal-wines/.

MLA Style

PA), Patrick E. McGoverna, Armen Mirzoianb, and Gretchen R. Halla (Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia,. "Ancient Egyptian herbal wines." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 25 Jun 2013. Web. 16 May 2021.