JERUSALEM, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers brew ancient beer from 5,100-year-old yeast which revived from historical pottery vessels, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said Wednesday.
Beer has been an important component of the daily diet since ancient times, and it featured great strength especially in religious worship and healing.
The research, led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the IAA, was based on 21 sherds of beer and wine vessels dating back to various historical periods from the founding of the first unified Egyptian kingdom during the reign of Pharaoh Narmer of about 3,100 BC to the days of Nehemiah, governor of Persian Judea in the 5th century BC.
The researchers located yeast colonies in the vessels' tiny nano-pores, and successfully isolated six strains of them by melting the yeast in an unfiltered beer.
The researchers then analyzed these yeasts' DNA and found them similar to those isolated from traditional African beers as well as to modern beer ones.
The researchers said the study is of great importance in experimental archaeology, which attempts to reconstruct the past and offers new tools in this field.