History fans invited to Egyptian evening

To cast more light on the social life of the ancient Egyptians, the Ancient History Society of Port Elizabeth will be hosting an Egyptian evening at the Italian Club in Charlo next month. Jean Smith, vice-chairman of the Egyptian Society of SA in Cape Town, will give a presentation with the theme “Party Time in Ancient Egypt”. A three-course Egyptian meal, including Egypt’s national dish Koshari, will also be served at the event to be held on Tuesday November 1. The ancient Egyptians loved to party and regularly held elaborate get-togethers. For these occasions, the tables would be laden with food and there would be copious quantities of beer and wine to drink. When the Egyptians entertained wine and beer flowed freely. According to the website Ancient Egypt Online, beer was of central importance to this ancient society. The gods were often made offerings of beer. Wages were often paid in beer (and other supplies) and workmen living in the workers village at Giza received beer three times a day as part of their rations. The ancient Egyptians even had an official goddess of beer. According to Dr Patrick McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania, Egyptians have also been drinking wine for thousands of years. “Before a royal winemaking industry was established in the Nile Delta, in about 3000 BC, the first pharaohs imported wine from Middle Eastern countries, and soon developed a taste for it. “Wine was even placed in the tombs of Egypt’s kings.” When the tomb of king Scorpion I was excavated, archaeologists found, among others, wine residue in 700 jars which contained about 4500 litres of wine to carry with him into the afterlife. Scorpion I was the first king to rule Upper Egypt at about 3150 BC. The 26 wine amphoras (ancient jars with two handles and a narrow neck) that were buried with the boy-king Tutankhamen in his famous tomb (dated around 1330 BC) were produced in the wineries in the delta. Anyone interested in ancient history is invited to attend the function. Tickets are R110 per person. For bookings contact Ona Viljoen at 073-500-7520 or send an e-mail to onaviljoen@gmail.com