19 December 2018 - 11 Tevet 5779 - י"א טבת ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Arts & Culture
Cheers! World’s oldest brewery found E-mail

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the world’s oldest site for alcohol production. They theorise that the beer-like beverage may have been served in ceremonies some 13,000 years ago.

The site is located in the Raqefet cave south of Haifa that also served as a burial site for the Natufian people.

“If we’re right, this is the earliest testament in the world to alcohol production of any kind,” said Dani Nadel, an archaeology professor at the University of Haifa and one of the authors of an article published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

“We know what the Natufians did in the cave. They buried some of their dead on a platform of flowers and plants, and apparently also produced a soup-like liquid, an alcoholic drink.” According to Nadel, the liquid was “different than today’s beer” and probably much weaker, “but fermented”.

The archaeologists discovered three small pits, or mortars, each about 40-60 centimetres deep, that had been carved into the surface of the Raqefet cave. Two of them were for storing grains, and the third was for pounding and brewing grains ahead of fermentation, the study found. The location of the mortars in the burial caves implies that the drink was “apparently connected to the ceremonies, or some sort of social event,” Nadel said.

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Israeli play Ghetto to tour China E-mail

A Chinese production of the drama Ghetto, directed by Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol, will grace stages in China starting on 5 November, the show’s Chinese promoter Magnificent Culture announced at a press event in September. The play will go on tour to a number of cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Dalian.

Set in the Jewish ghetto of Vilna, Lithuania, in 1941, the play is based on diaries written during the darkest days of the Holocaust. It focuses on the Jewish theatre in the ghetto.

First debuting in Haifa, Israel, in 1984, the drama has been staged in 25 countries and regions, including the US, Germany and the UK, and has been translated into more than 20 languages.

It incorporates traditional Jewish songs with jazz numbers and other traditional songs, all performed live onstage.

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Israeli films showcased in Singapore E-mail

The 26th Israel Film Festival in Singapore took place from 29 August to 2 September. On the programme were five films in various genres. The common theme was how new discoveries lead to new beginnings. As in previous years, the festival was organised by the Embassy of Israel in Singapore.

The opening-night film was Longing, a comedy-drama about parenthood and death in which a bachelor’s life gets turned into disarray when an old flame returns with life-changing news.

The highlight of the programme this year was the Golden Globe winner for Best Foreign Language Film and Academy Award nominee in the same category, the animation feature Waltz With Bashir, based on film-maker Ari Folman’s memories of war in Lebanon when he was a teen soldier and how his former army mates cope with post-traumatic stress and guilt in the present day.

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