An archaeologist who researchers Ancient Egypt tomb
has found one of the oldest cheeses ever discovered.
Several years ago, this team of archaeologist discovered broken jars in the tomb of Ptahmes- in the necropolis of Saqqara, Egypt. The tomb of Ptahmes was built in the 13th century BC during the 19th Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt. Ptahmes was a high-ranking Egyptian official under pharaoh Seti I and his successor Ramesses 2. After the tomb of Ptahmes being lost to shifting sands, it was rediscovered in 2010.
The team found in one of the jars a “solidified whitish mass”- which they suspected was food but were unsure which kind, but now a new study has identified it as very cheese, a very early type of cheese- dating from 3,200 years ago,
Since there was no previous evidence of cheese production in ancient Egypt, this discovery is of great significance- according to authors of the report published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
Dr. Enrico Greco from the University of Catania worked with colleagues at the Cairo University in Egypt to determine its identity. He said: “The material analyzed is probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found to date”.
“The material analyzed is probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found to date,” said Dr. Enrico Greco, from the University of Catania, who worked with colleagues at the Cairo University in Egypt to determine its identity. He also said: “We know it was made mostly from sheep’s and goat’s milk, but for me, it’s really hard to imagine a specific flavor.”
The ancient cheese would have had a Very acidy. The researchers also said they found traces of a bacterium that may cause an infectious disease known as brucellosis, which comes from consuming unpasteurized dairy products and the symptoms of this disease include fever, sweating and muscle aches, and the disease still exist today. If confirmed, it would be the oldest evidence of such a case.