Scientists find 'most ancient' cheese in Egypt tomb

Scientists find 'most ancient' cheese in Egypt tomb

1 min read
17 August, 2018
Scientists have discovered that a solidified whitish substance in an ancient jar dug up in Egypt is probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found.
The sample was excavated at the Saqqara necropolis [University of Catania and Cairo University]

Scientists have discovered that a solidified whitish substance in an ancient jar dug up in Egypt is probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found.

A study published this week in Analytical Chemistry said the cheese was made from a mixture of cow milk and that of a sheep or goat.

The sample was excavated at the Saqqara necropolis near Cairo between 2013 and 2014.

It was buried in the 19th dynasty tomb of Ptah-mes, mayor of the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis.

The study found signs of bacteria potentially causing the deadly disease brucellosis, caught through the ingestion of unpasteurised dairy products.

If confirmed, it would be "the first biomolecular direct evidence" of the disease's existence during the pharaonic period, according to the study.

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