Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Hymn to Ninkasi, Goddess of Beer - My article from Ancient History Encyclopedia

Beer was considered so important to the ancient Mesopotamians that they envisioned a Goddess whose sole responsibility was brewing. It is not surprising that the deity was female, rather than male, in that all (or at least the majority) of ancient brewers were women. That women were also propietors of ancient bars and pubs is attested to in the Code of Hammurabi and elsewhere, including depictions in art.

The article begins:

The Hymn to Ninkasi is at once a song of praise to Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer, and an ancient recipe for brewing. Written down around 1800 BCE, the hymn is no doubt much older. Evidence for brewing beer in the Mesopotamian region dates back to 3500-3100 BCE at the Sumerian settlement of Godin Tepe in modern-day Iran where, in 1992, archaeologists discovered chemical traces of beer in a fragmented jar dating to the mid-fourth century BCE (the same site also yielded evidence for early wine-making)...

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