Bread-making in the Ancient Near East

Posted on by Brooke

This is a request for resources. I plan to begin some research into bread-making in ancient Israel and in the ancient Near East. I will focus on bread production in the home, but am casting a wide net here at the beginning. So, I will even be looking into biblical grain offerings.

A live-yeast bread maker myself, I have from time to time essayed some early experiments in naan-type leavened flat loaves and in unleavened flat breads. I also have my eye on the kinds of sticky, wet doughs possibly suggested by the “queen of heaven” bread-molds and other terra cotta molds.

Without discounting the explanatory value of evidence from common-era societies, I mean to limit myself to primary evidence from Egypt, the Levant, and Mesopotamia, in the Bronze and Iron ages; perhaps, too, the Achaemenid  period around Judea.

Are there are resources you think I should take special care to find? Anything I might fruitfully keep in mind as I get started?

[Bread-making in the Ancient Near East was written by G. Brooke Lester for and was originally posted on 2020/03/08. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]