Barley Cakes

3. Barley Cakes

Look inside the case to find the barley cakes. People consumed agricultural products fresh in season, but also prepared and preserved them for long-term storage, trade, or export. A large variety of food, including fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, herbs and spices travelled around the Mediterranean. Ancient texts have even been recovered detailing elaborate recipes, although not all of them might appeal to modern palettes. When it comes to food, tastes change over time and vary among cultures.


These barley cakes, which were found in a storeroom in the palace at Nuzi, near modern day Iraq, date to about 1400 BC. They were not like the soft-baked pita typically consumed as part of a daily meal, but hard cracker-like loaves stored for a variety of cooking needs. They could have been used in beer making, added to stews as a thickening agent, or crumbled like croutons over a soup.


Your next stop is #4, the Egyptian boat model in the case to your right.