Alulu beer receipt

Alulu beer receipt – This records a purchase of “best” beer from a brewer, c. 2050 BC from the Sumerian city of Umma in Ancient Iraq.  The tablet acknowledges receipt of 5 Silas of “the best beer” from Alulu the brewer. 5 silas = 4.5 liters. 

The tablet is an analog of invoice of our days. It has an item, quantity and the name of the seller mentioned. I could not find information if the recipient is also there.

Back then in 2050 BC the same as now beer quality was very important.

This tablet tells us that beer making became a profession and that beer making was industrialised.

The important aspect of this finding is the name of the person who is mention on the tablet – “Alulu”. Is this by accident similar to “Ale” in English, “Alus” in Lithuanian and Latvian, “olut” in Finnish, “öl” Swedish, “øl” Norwegian etc.

The other question is this a name or profession?


“Sour” is an ordinary word 🙂 But if you know Sanskrit “sura” it becomes more interesting. And it is interesting also because of brother words from other languages – Russian “сыр” [syr] or Lithuanian “sūris” for cheese. “сырой” [syroj] (Russian) or “sūrus” (Lithuanian) for salty or spoiled, raw, rude etc.


Yavasura” means beer or ale in Sanskrit. This is a combined word “yava”+”sura”. “yava” is barley, “sura” has a lot of meanings – “alcoholic drink” or “drinking vessel” are among them. Other meanings like idol, sun, divinity, deity, wise man might be of interest and inline with the subject too.  in Lithuanian “Javai”= “yava” means grain, cereal, corn, crop – it is a main ingredient for beer. “Sura” sounds similar to “sour“. There is also Lithuanian word “Sula” and it means “juice”. Or “sūrus” – salty, or “sūris” – cheese.