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A history enthusiast has baked loaves of ancient bread based on an ancient Egyptian recipe and using an ingredient that was 1,500 years old – yeast scrapings taken from ancient Egyptian bread pots. He claimed the outcome was very tasty!
Ancient Egypt was a society that was very much dependent on the grains that it grew in the very fertile Nile valley . It was used to make bread and even to brew beer , both staples in the Egyptian diet . We actually know quite a lot about the bread that the Egyptians ate because of ‘optical and scanning electron microscopy of desiccated bread loaves’ reports Science.
One amateur research has been intrigued for many years as to how the Ancient Egyptians made their bread and what it tasted like. Seamus Blackley, a successful American video game designer and entrepreneur, became interested in Ancient Egyptian bread some years ago.
He had all the ingredients he needed to replicate how they made their bread and could even use the same type of millstones to grind grain into flour. Blackley only needed one thing- yeast, which was essential in the baking process of Egyptians 4000 years ago, as it is today.
An ancient Egyptian mill arm (Morphart / Adobe Stock)
Blackley was determined and he managed to find some baking pots , once used in the baking of bread. They were approximately 1,500 years old and they were obtained from a reliable but undisclosed source. He then had the sides of the pots scrapped for any resides of yeast. Yeast can hibernate or lay dormant for centuries and can be reactivated.
According to the SUN, “the ancient yeast was turned into a yeast culture ” and this meant that Blackley could begin to bake like the Ancient Egyptians.
The ancient yeast was turned into a yeast culture. ( Seamus Blackley )
Baking Ancient Egyptian Bread
Blackley documented his project to bake ancient bread on Twitter, keeping his followers updated on the process.
His followers were in general very positive about his attempts to recreate the bread that was eaten by the subjects of the Pharaohs, thousands of years ago.
Blackley was able to buy some of the same wheat that was used by the Egyptians and sea salt. Then he sourced some items that allowed him to recreate the ancient milling process. This meant finding some rotating stone disks to grind the grain into flour as it would have been done millennia ago in Thebes and Memphis.
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The American then activated the yeast and made a yeast culture. He kneaded all the ingredients together, including the yeast. Then, Blackley added the flour he had milled and some olive oil . Then once he had made a mixture he left it to rest “so the moisture could distribute throughout the dough and the yeast could start making it rise” according to the SUN. Then the dough was placed into wickerwork baskets to shape it and a coarse sea-salt was added for taste.
The bread was divided into wicker baskets for baking as this is how bread was shaped in Ancient Egypt. ( Seamus Blackley )
After the yeast made the dough rise it was ready to be baked into bread. It was placed into an oven and great care was taken to ensure that it was evenly baked. Then it was taken from the oven and allowed to cool, which Blackley reported on Twitter. He was extremely pleased with how the bread turned out.
Really Tasty Bread
Blackley then tasted it and tweeted that it tasted as good as it looked. The video-game designer tweeted that it is “incredibly-soft, but with body, and a very rich, complex comforting flavor”, reports the SUN.
Blackley’s project is not just a piece of fun, it is also providing some new insights into the food and lives of the Ancient Egyptians .
Blackley assured his fans that the bread baked with ancient yeast, tasted as good as it looked. ( Seamus Blackley )
Ancient bread history
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[VIDEO]: Egypt discovers the ‘lost golden city of the pharaohs’
Egypt congratulates itself for having discovered the legendary &ldquolost golden city of Luxor&rdquo, in a technical coup, considered the most fabulous since the discovery of the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun.
Egypt congratulates itself for discovering the legendary &ldquolost golden city of Luxor,&rdquo in a technical coup, considered the most fabulous since the discovery of the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922.
Located in the very rich archaeological site of Luxor, on the banks of the Nile River, it contains vestiges of an extensive city that allows us to discern the customs and way of life of the inhabitants who occupied it 3,400 years ago, reports NBC News of Aug. 10.
&ldquoThis is amazing because actually we know a lot about tombs and afterlife,&rdquo said Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass, speaking of the cultural significance of the discovery in pursuit of which many search teams were frustrated.
He added: &ldquoBut now we discover a large city to tell us for the first time about the life of the people during the Golden Age,&rdquo which lay unknown beneath the desert sands until September and was only revealed this week.
&ldquoEach piece of sand can tell us the lives of the people, how the people lived at the time, how the people lived in the time of the golden age, when Egypt ruled the world,&rdquo expressed the excited archaeologist.
And he reiterated: &ldquoWe spent a lot of time talking about the mummies and talking about how they died, the ritual of their deaths. And this is the ritual of their lives.&rdquo
The objects unearthed consist of rings, scarabs, and colored ceramic artifacts, based on which it was determined that they belonged to a period between 1391 and 1353 BC.
This was considered an era of prosperity that the pharaoh Amenhotep III ruled.
Although the successful team of explorers and archaeologists led by Hawass had the Mortuary Temple of Tutankhamun as the target of their search, they were surprised by imposing mud walls of 3 meters high that followed a zigzagging trajectory.
For her part, Johns Hopkins University Egyptology professor Betsy Brian said the magnitude of this archaeological treasure was only rivaled in significance by one other.
&ldquoThe discovery of this lost city is the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamen,&rdquo Brian explained in the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities press release, reports African News.
Two previously unknown curious facts caught the excavators&rsquo attention and created more intrigue about the customs of that civilization.
One was a skeleton in a strange posture. It lay with its arms outstretched at its sides and the remains of a rope around its knees.
The other evidenced the organization&rsquos records and the follow-up for regular provisions, such as meat.
It is a container containing about 22 pounds of boiled or dried meat, next to which the following inscription was deciphered: &ldquoThat year 37, seasoned meat for the third feast of Heb Thirst from the slaughterhouse of the corral of Kha, prepared by the butcher luwy&rdquo.
A statement from Egypt&rsquos culture ministry said its government would continue investigations.
For thousands of years, nilometers measured the water level of the Nile River during the annual flood season. This, in turn, was used to predict the fortunes of the annual harvest, the taxes to be imposed (which determined the revenues of the state), as well as the prices of foodstuffs. Therefore, the nilometer was a vital instrument for the ancient Egyptian civilization. The significance of the nilometer is evident in the fact that even after Egypt was conquered by foreign powers, nilometers continued to be utilized. As a matter of fact, the nilometer only became obsolete during the 20 th century, when the Aswan High Dam was completed.
It is well-known that the Nile was the lifeline of ancient Egypt. The Greek historian Herodotus, for instance, referred to Egypt as the &ldquogift of the Nile.&rdquo The river not only enabled intensive cultivation along its banks but was also used as a means of transport. The annual flooding of the Nile was the river&rsquos most important natural phenomenon, as it helped to fertilize the agricultural land in the delta by depositing millions of tons of silt each year. In addition, the inundation of the Nile also served to determine when certain religious and civil festivals were to be celebrated, thereby regulating the rhythm of life in ancient Egypt.
The annual flood season of the Nile lasted from July to October and was caused by the summer monsoon rains over the Ethiopian Plateau. The rainwater flows from the highlands into the Nile via its tributaries, including the Blue Nile and the Atbarah River. The water level of the Nile reaches its peak around the end of August, and this level is maintained till early October, after which it gradually goes down.
In addition to the timing of the annual flood, the amount of water brought by the floods was also a crucial aspect of this natural phenomenon. Too much or too little water would have had a negative impact on the lives of those who depended on the river. Therefore, the ancient Egyptians invented the nilometer, a device that measured the water level of the Nile during the annual flooding.
Drawing of a measuring shaft inside of a nilometer from page 88 of &ldquoUp the Nile, and home again. A handbook for travelers and a travel-book for the library,&rdquo 1862).
As the nilometer was such an extremely important instrument, it would be reasonable to expect that many of them were built by the ancient Egyptians. Today, however, there are not many examples of the device remaining. According to an article published by National Geographic in 2016, &ldquofewer than two dozen of the devices are known to exist&rdquo. It seems likely that some nilometers were destroyed by natural disasters, and not rebuilt. Others were simply not maintained, and left to fall into ruin.
This is the case, for instance, of the nilometer of Helwan, a city to the south of Cairo, on the bank of the Nile opposite the ruins of Memphis. This nilometer is recorded to have been restored or built in 699 AD, about half a century after the Muslim conquest of Egypt. By 714 AD, however, the nilometer was in such a bad state that the Umayyad caliph, Al-Walid I, ordered the governor of Egypt to build a new nilometer.
Throughout the history of civilization , the concept of the apocalypse has been ever present, in one way or another. The envisioned revelation, the feared end of the world that will herald an age of purification through horrific and chaotic means, has been a part of every major religion and belief throughout the centuries. But one of the most interesting prophecies relates to the famous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which are described in the Bible &rsquos Book of Revelation.
Today we&rsquore bringing you this concept in detail. Together we will envision this end of the world, this crumbling of civilizations at the hands of War, Famine, Pestilence, and Disease, and dissect this prophecy and its various interpretations throughout history.
Could there be a speck of truth in this vision? Did the Four Horsemen already thunder across the fields of the earth? Let&rsquos find out.