'Cursed' Cheese Found In Egyptian Tomb Might Be The World's Oldest

The cheese had been made with a combination cows milk combined with sheep's or goats

The cheese had been made with a combination cows milk combined with sheep's or goats

Should archeologists unearth ancient crackers that'll pair well with sarcophagus juice and diseased cheese, all we'll need is a ouija board for the ultimate cursed game night.

Archaeologists reckon they've uncovered the world's oldest cheese in Egypt, maturing for more than 3000 years in an ancient tomb. The sample was excavated at the Saqqara necropolis near Cairo between 2013 and 2014.

Archaeologists have just discovered the most ancient and intact cheese that has ever been found anywhere in the world, and it was recovered from the Egyptian tomb of Ptahmes, the mayor of Memphis, after being left there 3,200 years ago. After most of its treasures were looted by European excavators, eventually finding their way into museums many thousands of miles away, the tomb itself was lost beneath drifting desert sands.

In one of the broken jars, researchers found a "solidified, whitish" mass, wrapped in a piece of canvas, researchers said. In his tomb scientists found the remains of a hard cheese that had been maturing for 3,300 years.

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In ancient Egypt, milk had to be consumed shortly after milking or else it would spoil without refrigeration, so it was often turned into cheese and other fermented products like yogurt.

When researchers tested the whitish substance, they found a combination of peptides that indicate a dairy product made of cow milk and either sheep or goat milk.

The jar had been covered in a canvas to preserve the cheese.

"This is the oldest solid cheese ever found", Enrico Greco, a scientist with the department of Chemical Sciences at the University of Catania who coauthored the report, told The Telegraph.

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The highly infectious disease of cattle can spread to humans - typically from consuming raw, unpasteurised milk and other dairy products. Identifying B. melitensis represents the first biomolecular evidence of the disease from the Pharaonic Period.

To cut the researchers some slack - but not the cheese (I'm sorry) - Ptahmes's tomb is over 70 meters long and features an impressive assortment of chapels.

To date, only indirect signs of brucellosis have been discovered on Egyptian bones that date back to 750 BCE.

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