An image from the excavation site of the ancient brewery in Abydos, Egypt, in February 2021.

Archaeologists have discovered a massive 5,000-year-old brewery in the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

The brewery was located in Egypt’s Sohag Governorate, and likely dates back to the reign of King Narmer, around 3100 BC, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday – making this the oldest brewery found in Abydos.

Dr. Matthew Adams of New York University, one of the leaders of the Egyptian-American mission that made the discovery, said researchers believe the beer was used in royal burial rituals for Egypt’s earliest kings. Previous excavations in the area had found evidence that beer was used during sacrificial rites.

The brewery was split into eight large sections for beer production.

The brewery was split into eight large sections for beer production, each containing 40 clay