The ‘Irep en Kemet ' [Wine of Ancient Egypt] project main goal is to investigate the role and significance of ancient Egyptian wine culture in the history of wine, through the documentation and analysis of the complete corpus of wine in Ancient Egypt (iconography, texts, wine-jars and related objects), and to highlight its influence on Greek, Roman and modern wine culture.
Our project starts the documentation of the corpus of wine in ancient Egypt with the viticulture and winemaking scenes. This is a three-year scientific project, intended to run from December 30th 2010 until December 29th 2013, that is directed by Dr. Maria Rosa Guasch Jané at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of the Universidade Nova in Lisbon (Portugal). This project is funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) of the Portuguese Ministry of Science and Education, and it was gained through the competitive funding program Research & Development Projects in all Scientific Domains-2009 (90,000€). The research team consists of Sofia Fonseca, Archaeologist and Egyptologist, Mahmoud Ibrahim, Egyptologist and Linguist, and Maria Rosa Guasch Jané, Doctor in Pharmacy and Egyptologist.
Due to the fact that some of the work we plan to do and the human resources will not be financially supported by the FCT in 2013 and also because we have no founds to extend our work in 2014, we send you this proposal hoping that you find it relevant and interesting to be supported.
We will need this amount to be able to finish the research and to disseminate the results publishing articles and a book with the corpus of images, and a website with mobile and tablet applications.
This project will be a step forward in understanding wine culture in Antiquity and will open a new field of study in Egyptology.
In Ancient Egypt, wine was a prestigious drink consumed mainly by royalty and the elite, presented to guests at banquets for entertainment, offered to gods in daily temple rituals and used in medical treatments. The ancient Egyptian wine culture is one of the world 's most ancient and with the most extensive records on wine production. Since the Predynastic Period (4000-3100 BC), wine jars were placed in the Egyptian tombs as funerary offerings.
Scenes of viticulture and winemaking were depicted on the walls of private tombs from the Old Kingdom Period (2575-2150 BC) through the Graeco-Roman times (332 BC-395 AD). The different steps include: grape harvest, treading, pressing, fermentation, closing the jars, stamping and labelling the jars, and finally storing the jars in the cellar [Murray 2000; Guasch-Jané 2008]. For example, in a scene from Nakht 's tomb [Figure 1] at Thebes (present Luxor) and dated to the Eighteenth Dynasty (1539-1292 BC), the grape harvest and the winemaking are represented: to the right, the scene shows two workers picking up the red grapes by hand and putting them in baskets; to the left, a group of four men are pressing the grapes in a vat with their feet and, besides this, there is a man taking the red juice (the must) that flows out while, on the top, the amphorae are sealed with a mud stopper.
During the New Kingdom Period (1539-1075 BC), wine jars [amphorae] had hieratic inscriptions on ink with details of the harvest: the year, the name of the product (irp [Erman 1926], which is wine, or shedeh [Erman 1930], a wine with a more elaborate preparation], the quality, the provenance, the property (royal, temple or private) and the name and title of the winemaker. Like the labels in the modern bottles of wine, the inscriptions on the New Kingdom wine jars give us information about the harvest and wine production [Guasch 2010]. These inscriptions on amphorae reveal that the ancient Egyptians considered this information relevant and necessary to be able to distinguish between wines. It was extremely important to know the vintage and the provenance of the product.
However, it is curious that no mention was made concerning the colour of wine, either white or red, on the inscriptions or any other documents. The symbolism of the ancient Egyptian wines was based on its red colour, not only because of the relation established between wine and the blood of the resurrection god Osiris, but also because of the reddish colour of the River Nile during the annual flood -with ferruginous sediments coming from the Ethiopian mountains-, when the harvest time for grapes started [Poo 1986, 1995]. Grapes and the wine were symbol of resurrection, and this is still in use in Coptic iconography today.
The Egyptian mythology related the wine only to the red colour, and no textual references to white wine from the Dynastic period (3100-343 BC) have been found in Egypt up to now.
The origin of the European wine culture is widely regarded as Greek and Roman. Classical authors, such as the Latin poet Virgil (70-19 BC), Strabo (1st century BC) or Athenaneus of Naucratis (2nd-3rd century AD), spoke about the quality of the Egyptian wines. The first mention of white wine in Egypt is from Athenaeus of Naucratis, in his book The Deipnosophistae he explains that Mareotis wine, in the area of Lake Mariut near Alexandria, was “excellent, white and enjoyable, aromatic…” [Athenaeus 1961].
THE COLOUR OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WINES
In order to study the kind (colour) of the wines that were made in ancient Egypt, we developed an analytical method [Guasch-Jané et al 2004] for archaeological residues of wine using the liquid chromatography mass spectrometry in tandem (LC/MS/MS) technique. Two compounds were identified in archaeological residue samples from Tutankhamun 's amphorae: tartaric acid, as grape marker, and syringic acid derived from malvidin, the latter being the main compound responsible for the red colour of grapes and wines, as red grape marker [Guasch-Jané et al 2004, 2008].
The results revealed, for the first time, that in the New Kingdom Period (1539-1075 BC) three kinds of wines were made: red [Guasch-Jané 2004, 2008], white [Guasch-Jané et al 2006a, 2008] and a more elaborate red wine, called shedeh [Guasch-Jané 2006b, 2008].
The analytical results added new information to the inscription on the amphorae: about the type of wine they contained.
The origin and nature of the shedeh , which has no translation, was a mystery since a century ago, with pomegranates or grapes having been proposed as a raw material. According to Salt papyrus 825 in the British Museum (BM 10051) of the Late Period (715-332 BC), the only text found so far that mentions the elaboration of the shedeh , it was filtered and heated; nevertheless, due to damage in the Salt papyrus, the botanical source of shedeh remained unknown [Derchain 1965; Tallet 1995, 2010; Guasch-Jané, 2008].
The results of analysing a sample of a residue from the shedeh amphora found in Tutankhamun 's Burial chamber (JE 62315, Carter no. 206), bearing the inscription “Year 5, shedeh of very good quality of the Estate of Aten of the Western River, chief vintner Rer” Č erny, 1965] confirmed that shedeh was a red grape wine [Guasch-Jané 2006b, 2008].
Recent research suggested the use of the three kinds of wines (a red wine, a white wine and shedeh , respectively) found in Tutankhamun 's Burial chamber were for the King 's three-step resurrection ritual, while the rest of wines found in the Annexe chamber were offerings of the usual kind for sustenance in the afterlife [Guasch-Jané 2011].
DOCUMENTING THE VITICULTURE AND WINEMAKING SCENES
Our project starts the documentation of the corpus of wine in ancient Egypt with the viticulture and winemaking scenes, not only because of the extensive information they provide, but also for many aspects that are less studied. Previous studies on Ancient Egyptian wine production only provide records of few of the scenes while several aspects such as the presence of white grapes in the tombs ' iconography, or the elaboration of shedeh , are obscure.
The types and forms of the vines that are represented in the scenes, and the different heights of the vine tree or its shape are still not fully studied and classified. The same for the workers involved in the grape harvest, the way they picked the grapes as well as the kind of baskets they used for transporting the grapes to the press. Furthermore, the type and material of the press (or deposit) where the grapes were treaded needs to be studied in-depth, because these scenes are the only references as no archaeological evidence has been found. Another aspect we aim to study is the extraction of grape juice using a sack-press.
The fermentation process and the closing of the wine-jars, or the strict control of closing and labelling wine-jars during the New Kingdom Period, revealed by the amphorae and their inscriptions, are even more interesting aspects to be investigated.
Regarding the presence of white grapes in the iconography, it is still under discussion. It has been suggested that a tomb from Deir El-Bersheh of the Middle Kingdom Period (1975-1640 BC) may show the production of white wine, since the pressing scene directly follows the harvesting scene where greenish-coloured grapes could be represented [Montet 1913; Murray 2000]. The elaboration of the shedeh represented in the scenes is also doubtful, and there is a unique reference from the tomb of Baqet III (no. 15) in Beni Hassan that might show a filtering and a heating process [Tallet 1995].
METHODOLOGICAL PLAN FOR THE PROPOSAL
We plan a four steps methodology addressed to:
1. PhotographING THE SCENES : We will do a photographic work of 84 tombs in Egypt having viticulture and winemaking scenes, which have not been photographed or studied until now or if it is very difficult to accede to the images or obtain their copyright.
2a. DEVELOP A database: We will design and create a database hosted by DBMS to include all the data and the images, which will be accessible on-line to the scientific community and general public and presented using GIS technology.
2 b . Creating an archaeological map of the ancient Egyptian viticulture and winemaking scenes : A Geographic Information System (GIS) will be defined by Miquel Àngel Vargas at Laboratori d 'Informació Geogràfica i Teledetecció, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (LIGIT-UAB) and used to construct the project database, which will also include all the scenes. The applications that will be implemented, will allow access for further query of the information. Following an initial phase where requirements analysis, functional specifications and interface design will be produced, the system will be developed to provide the tools and applications required to management, support and maintain the database. A user manual will be elaborated.
A website will be created to present the project results in a comprehensive and interactive way. The web will be user friendly to permit the biggest number of people (researchers, students, professors, oenologists, general public) interested in wine history, culture or in Egyptology to accede the contents. The databases created during the project (bibliographic and iconographic) will be accessible on-line, using GIS technology to create an archaeological map in two levels: one comprehending Egyptian archaeological sites with the iconography and texts. We will also develop software applications to handheld devices, such as mobile phones and tablet computers) so that the project 's website can be accessible from almost anywhere at anytime.
3. TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND DISSEMINATION:
We will create a database with the corpus of scenes of viticulture and winemaking and the bibliography related to it. A website including all the knowledge transfer of this research and an archaeological map of the viticulture and winemaking scenes will be develop. The manuscripts that we plan to publish in international peer-reviewed scientific journals with the research results will be posted in the website and also the papers addressed to the general public. Furthermore, the oral communications in congresses presenting the results of this project will be posted (in power point, pdf or word file, etc.) in the website, as well as the corresponding conference proceedings.
Our aim is to:
3a) Publish one book containing the corpus of scenes of viticulture and winemaking.
3b) Present at least three papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.
3c) Present lectures in 2 congresses to be held in 2013: the XIth International Congress of the Egyptologists to be held in Alexandria in September 13th-20th 2013 and the XXIVth CIPA International Symposium on recording, documentation and cooperation for Cultural Heritage to be held in Strasbourg (France) in September 2nd-6th 2013. Furthermore, the British Egyptology Congress to be held in London in September 2014 (exact dates still not confirmed)
4. ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY: We will ask for permission to carry out an archaeological survey in 2014 of two or three of the unstudied and unpublished tombs in Thebes having viticulture and winemaking scenes for further excavation work.
We plan to extend our research to the other aspects related to wine that are represented in the ancient Egyptian iconography: the daily life scenes of wine drinking in banquets and religious festivals in tombs, temples or any other monuments. Scenes depicting wine consumption were popular motifs in private tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty (1539-1292 BC) at Thebes. Furthermore, we also aim to document the archaeological artefacts (wine jars and related objects) which will be further included in our project 's website. The expected results are to relate the process of wine elaboration of the ancient Egyptians to the traditional method still used in Europe and to unveil the ancient Egyptian wine culture legacy in the Mediterranean region through the compilation and study of the iconography, texts and artefacts.
FUNDS REQUIRED IN THE PROJECT
First year (2013): Website infrastructure=1,200$
Travel expenses (photographic work and congresses)=8,000$
Post-doc researcher salary=35,000$
Total amount required 1st year=44,200$
Travel expenses (survey and congress)=4,000$
Publication of a book=10,000$
Post-doc researcher salary=35,000$
Total amount required 2nd year=49,950$