Chapter

An Ancient Vintage

André Finet

in Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780748613878
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653584 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613878.003.0005
An Ancient Vintage

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In ancient Mesopotamia, among the oldest ‘civilised people’ in the world, alcoholic beverages were part of the festivities as soon as a simple repast bordered on a feast. Although beer, brewed chiefly from a barley base, remained the ‘national drink’, wine was not unknown. It was a common topic in the archives of the palace of Mari, the brilliant metropolis of the Middle Euphrates. These texts, which throw light on the political and social life of the kingdom and its neighbours, also provide useful evidence about eating habits. Viticulture is just as much a matter of tradition as favourable soil or climate. The town of Carchemish on the Euphrates was by its geographical position the most important port of the Upper Euphrates and a very well-patronised market. It was the capital of an independent kingdom, in friendly relations with Mari.

Keywords: Mesopotamia; beer; wine; Mari; viticulture; Carchemish; Euphrates

Chapter.  2016 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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