World's oldest beer receipt?Tom Lee of East Grand Rapids Grand Rapids, city (1990 pop. 189,126), seat of Kent co., SW central Mich., on the Grand River; inc. 1850. The second largest city in the state, it is a distribution, wholesale, and industrial center for an area that yields fruit, dairy products, farm produce, , MI, recently sent us this photo of an ancient beer receipt he owns. The document was recorded in ancient Sumerian, during the 45th year of the reign of Shulgi, the King of Ur, in 2050 BC. It is a dated and signed receipt for the delivery of beer, by an ancient brewer named Alulu, who produced beer in the city of Ur. "No Ur political documents from this time are known to exist," Mr. Lee writes. "Only this written and signed receipt for beer. The ancients had their priorities straight!"
The document is signed with the impression of the personal seal of Ur-Amma, the scribe scribe (skrīb), Jewish scholar and teacher (called in Hebrew, Soferim) of law as based upon the Old Testament and accumulated traditions. The work of the scribes laid the basis for the Oral Law, as distinct from the Written Law of the Torah. and clerk who wrote the document 4,000 years ago. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Mr. Lee's translation, the document reads: "Ur-Amma acknowledges receiving from his brewer, Alulu, 5 sila (about 4 1/2 liters) of the 'best' beer."
The kingdom of Ur was one of the earliest of the great Sumerian urban states. It was located on a fertile river plain, near where the Euphrates and Tigris turn into one river. The city is mentioned in the Bible, and has often been identified with the Garden of Eden Garden of Eden
Noun 1. Garden of Eden - a beautiful garden where Adam and Eve were placed at the Creation; when they disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they were , or Paradise. Some of the ruins of Ur are still extant, including a temple tower, or ziggurat ziggurat (zĭg`răt), form of temple common to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The earliest examples date from the end of the 3d millenium B.C. . The Sumerian city states were eventually unified, and became the basis for the Babylonian civilization. Iraq's "Marsh Arabs The Marsh Arabs (Arabic,معدان Ma'daan ) are the inhabitants of the lowlands of southern Iraq, the former Mesopotamia, whose families have lived in the area for thousands of years. " of contemporary times claim to be descended from these original peoples.
Mr. Lee says that his ancient beer receipt is a valued component in his library. "I've been collecting ancient documents and historical manuscripts, all over the world, for nearly 30 years," he writes. "I obtained the Ur tablet/beer receipt from the family of the grandson of one of the chief archaeologists who discovered the tablet during massive excavations at Ur prior to 1920. As literate scribes were few and far between 4,000 years ago, only very important things and events were memorialized in writing. Beer played a very different role in ancient Ur, and in other contemporaneous con·tem·po·ra·ne·ous
Originating, existing, or happening during the same period of time: the contemporaneous reigns of two monarchs. See Synonyms at contemporary. cultures, than it does in the present world. then, beer was also a principal food source, a source of nourishment. As I said, they had their priorities straight."
--Our thanks to Tom L. Lee, Ph. D