Jerusalem: Scientists have recreated an ancient beer that was served during the reign of Egyptian Pharaohs over 5,000 years ago. In ancient times, beer was an important ingredient in people’s daily diet. Great powers were attributed to beer in the ancient world, particularly for religious worship and healing properties. Researchers from Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) in Israel examined the colonies of yeast that formed and settled in the nano-pores of pottery used to produce beer. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’They were able to resurrect this yeast to create a high-quality beer. Many cooks were invited to isolate the yeast specimens from the ancient debris and to create a beer with it. They were given shards of pottery that had been used as beer and mead (honey wine) jugs in ancient times — and miraculously, still had yeast specimens stuck inside. Researchers said that these jars date back to the reign of Egyptian Pharaoh Narmer (roughly 3000 BCE), to Aramean King Hazael (800 BCE) and to Prophet Nehemiah (400 BCE) who, according to the bible, governed Judea under Persian rule. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaThe researchers, with the help of HUJI student Tzemach Aouizerat, cleaned and sequenced the full genome of each yeast specimen. They found that these 5,000-year yeast cultures are similar to those used in traditional African brews, such as the Ethiopian honey wine tej, and to modern beer yeast. Local Israeli beer expert Itai Gutman helped the scientists make the beer. The brew was sampled and was deemed to be high-quality and safe for consumption. “The greatest wonder here is that the yeast colonies survived within the vessel for thousands of years — just waiting to be excavated and grown,” said Ronen Hazan, Hebrew University. “This ancient yeast allowed us to create beer that lets us know what ancient Philistine and Egyptian beer tasted like. By the way, the beer isn’t bad,” Hazan said. “Aside from the gimmick of drinking beer from the time of King Pharaoh, this research is extremely important to the field of experimental archaeology — a field that seeks to reconstruct the past,” he said. “Our research offers new tools to examine ancient methods, and enables us to taste the flavours of the past,” he added. “We are talking about a real breakthrough here. This is the first time we succeeded in producing ancient alcohol from ancient yeast. In other words, from the original substances from which alcohol was produced. This has never been done before,” said Yitzchak Paz, from Israel Antiquities Authority.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 16, 2014 1:41 pm MDT PEACE RIVER, Alta. – Alberta’s energy regulator is mounting a two-week, around-the-clock compliance check near Peace River to ensure oilsands companies are following new rules on odour emissions.“We only have so many people in each field office across Alberta, so we’ve essentially saturated this area with staff to do a targeted sweep,” Jeff Toering of the Alberta Energy Regulator said Monday.The sweep involves two three-person teams moving from facility to facility in alternating 12-hour shifts for a week. Different teams replace them after the first week.The effort follows public hearings into complaints that gassy odours from Baytex Energy’s facilities were driving some families from their homes.Calgary-based Baytex uses an unusual method of heating bitumen in above-ground tanks to extract oil. Four other companies in the area use a similar process.The regulator accepted most of the recommendations in a report on the public hearings. The suggestions included taking steps to eliminate gas venting, reduce flaring and conserve all produced gas in the area, where feasible, because it could cause health problems.The regulator released a directive to that effect, which came into force Monday.Baytex spokesman Andrew Loosely said the company has installed vapour recovery systems on all its equipment in one of the troublesome fields and is on schedule to install them in the other field by the regulatory deadline of Aug. 15.“We applaud those efforts that the AER is undertaking,” Loosely said. “They’ll be out in force, holding our feet to the fire.”Gerald Palanca, who is part of the regulatory team, said inspectors will depend partly on their own sense of smell to determine if the regulations are being followed. But inspectors won’t just follow their noses, he said.Methane detectors will measure gases associated with smelly emissions. Infrared cameras will be able to “see” releases.“We’re not only measuring the odours with the human nose,” said Palanca.Nor is a one-time blast to the nostrils enough to result in enforcement.“We’re after the very strong and offensive (odours),” said Palanca, who added several things will be considered in deciding whether enforcement is required.“(Is) there … evidence that the site in question is affecting people? There’s also compliance history. There’s the duration. All these factors weigh in as part of the compliance assurance program.”Toering said inspectors hope to use this sweep to improve future enforcement of the new odour regulations.“We’re learning and we’re going to tweak it as we need.” Regulator checks oilsands companies in northwest Alberta for odours