A tomb revealing 5,000-year-old sealed wine jars excites researchers for gaining more answers regarding the opulent Queen.
Egyptian tombs are fascinating for archaeologists and historians all over the world. The civilization is so old that oftentimes it is hard for researchers to find remnants. However, these tombs act as bonafide structures for them to explore and find answers to their questions. Egyptian Queen Meret-Neith's tomb hinted to the researchers about her immeasurable power. The Egyptians believed that people could carry on things in their afterlife. Therefore, royals created tombs for themselves filled with everything they would need after death. Meret-Neith filled hers with all the usual riches but the thing that took the attention of the researchers was the 5,000-Year-Old Unopened Wine Jars, per My Modern Met.
While excavating the tomb of the Egyptian Queen Meret-Neith in Abydos, archaeologists discovered hundreds of 5,000-year-old wine jars. https://t.co/Bz7galFYT4— Smithsonian Magazine (@SmithsonianMag) October 20, 2023
LiveScience in their report provides detailed information regarding Meret-Neith's background. Her name means "beloved of the goddess Neith", and she was married to King Djet — the third king of the first dynasty of ancient Egyptian rulers. She became a mother to another king, her son Den. The Queen's tomb was first discovered in 1900. Recent excavations into the tomb have revealed material remains that indicate the strong social position enjoyed by the Queen. In a statement, Universität Wien revealed that they found 5,000-year-old unopened wine jars in the tomb. Hannah L Wills shared in her report that wine was a delicacy enjoyed by the upper classes as well as royal families and offered to gods in Egyptian culture. Hence, the presence of so much of it in the Queen's tomb indicates her elevated social position.
View this post on Instagram
This assertion is backed by findings in Den's tomb at Saqqara, as per LiveScience. She is featured on an inscribed list of rulers, just after her son. This indicates that she could have ruled as a regent over the dynasty. Ronald Leprohon, a professor emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Toronto, said, "The very fact of having added her name to the list of kings shows that something highly important had to have happened with Meret-Neith."
The Queen's tomb is elaborate in its structure. It has a series of rooms where 41 servants and courtiers have been buried, in the hope that they serve the Queen after death. The wine was placed in clay jars which were sealed shut before being placed in the tomb. Surprisingly, they remain shut even after so many centuries. This is a testament to the expertise the people used in those times to preserve the tombs. Dig leader Christiana Köhler of the University of Vienna appreciated the makers of the tomb and told Artnet News, “Considering that these are the remains of people’s lives and actions from 5,000 years ago, we are stunned every day at the amazing detail we encounter during our investigations, including the perfectly preserved grape seeds, craftwork and even footprints in the mud.”
Emlyn Dodd, a researcher in the field but not connected to the project, hopes that these jars help in further understanding the processes used by people in those times to treat their wines. She told Newsweek, “The discovery of sealed, intact wine jars at Abydos, along with well-preserved grape pips, has the potential to significantly build our understanding of some of the earliest wine production, use and trade in the ancient Mediterranean and North Africa. Analysis of the residues left inside the jars, for example, could illuminate the chemical composition of the wine that was once inside, revealing its flavor profile and any additive ingredients that were used.”