Sunday, April 03, 2022

Grain storage in ancient Egypt

The principal food crops, barley and emmer, were used to make beer and bread, the main staples of the Egyptian diet. Grains were harvested and stored in granaries until ready to be processed. The storage of food staples is always of utmost importance as it is a key component of food distribution, which is an important means of executing power and accomplishing the goals by specific actors in a system.

Ancient Egypt had one of the most successful and stable agricultural economies of the ancient world, and had both a system and facilities for grain storage: larger granaries were attached to temples and palaces, while smaller ones were dispersed within the town.

The structure of granaries, comprising storage chambers of either vaulted or rectangular shape, was essentially similar throughout all dynasties. The basic type of storage chambers was dome-shaped. Mud of the Nile valley mixed with water, sand and straw was particularly suitable for building granaries in the arid climate of Egypt.

The ancient Egyptians made a practice of preserving grain in years of plenty against years of scarcity, and probably Joseph only carried out on a large scale as habitual practice. The stores of wheat and barley served the inhabitants of Egypt during the period of drought and hunger that followed.
Grain storage in ancient Egypt