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Wine in Ancient Egypt: storage and bottling

Wine was fermented and stored in large pottery jars, which were filled shortly after treating and pressing the grapes. Wine jars are in general tall vessels with a rounded base needing further support.

Wine jars, wine amphorae (click on the image to see a larger picture or the archaeological context - marked red)

Tarkhan, Early Dynastic Period
unknown provenance, Early Dynastic Period
Sedment, New Kingdom
Ihnasya, Roman Period
UC 16083, wine found at Tarkhan, tomb 414 UC 17188, wine jar UC 19156, amphora, maybe from Gurob, New Kingdom UC 19160, amphora found at Sedment, New Kingdom UC 16789

Wine needs to be sealed otherwise it turns into vinegar. Wine jar sealings are known already from the First Dynasty and from several sites, such as Amarna and Buhen (both New Kingdom). The initial sealing was made with a stopper of reed, straw, pottery or mud. It had the function of protecting the wine against the mud of a final sealing.

labels found at Amarna | labels found at the Ramesseum (Thebes) | labels found at Buhen


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