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Foods and Culinary Utensils of the Ancients

Jars and funnels some of pottery and others of bronze


Among

the kitchen utensils was a jug with a long neck, an angular handle, and a pointed bottom. It was usually suspended from a nail or hook.

There was also a plentiful and varied supply of vases, large and small, pitchers for holding water and other liquids, bowls, cups, pans, small bottles, ladles, jars and funnels--some of pottery and others of bronze, some of simple form and others elaborately patterned. The funnels were generally shaped like the wine strainers of to-day.

Skins were often used for holding both wine and water.

The dining tables were supported by props with one or several feet, in the houses of the rich made often of ivory and carved in the form of a lion or a hero such as Atlas, and among the poor of stone.

The plates and dishes were of stone, alabaster or bronze. The dishes were generally made with handles, either fixed or movable, by which they could be carried or hung on pegs when not in use, and the red unglazed basins bore inscriptions, in cursive character, running round the interior in many lines to the bottom.

The cups, especially those used for wine, were very beautiful. The lower part was often modeled in the form of a lion's head from which the cup itself rose in a graceful outward curve. Many of them were of gold and silver.

To Assyria is due the

birth of the "culinary art" and its gradual growth to a state closely bordering on perfection. It will be noted that it was marked also by the manufacture of utensils and vessels far more costly and elaborate than any in use at the present time.

EGYPT AND THE EGYPTIANS.

The recorded history of ancient Egypt which was, according to Herodotus, known as Thebes, commences with the reign of Menes, or Menas, who is supposed to have been its first king. He ascended the throne about 2320 B. C.

The growth of civilization among the early Egyptians was much more rapid than among the people of any contemporary nation. Even in the days of Abraham and Joseph they had attained to as high a degree of social culture as during the most glorious periods of their career. In art and science their advancement was especially marked.

In her infancy, Egypt contented herself with the pursuits of agriculture, the chase, and, as the habits of the people became more settled, the rearing of cattle.

The domestic oxen were usually of the hump-backed variety. But not only were the ordinary domestic animals tamed and reared, but also animals such as gazelles and oryxes.

Sheep, though, do not appear to have been generally eaten; in some parts it was, indeed, unlawful to devour them.

Goats were kept, presumably for their milk, and kids were occasionally allowed to browse on the vines in order to impart to their flesh a more delicate flavor.

Pigs were generally looked upon as unclean, and therefore unfit for food. The chroniclers show them as used for food at only one festival. Those represented on the monuments were ugly in the extreme, with long legs and necks, rough hair, and a crest of bristles running down the back.


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