Chemists have studied the world’s oldest cheese of the Egyptian tomb

Химики изучили древнейший в мире сыр из египетской гробницы

Scientists have studied the world’s oldest cheese

Cheese age of 3,300 years, have been preserved in the form of white powder. Mindful of the “curse of the tombs”, the archaeologists asked the chemists to establish that it is.

Archaeologists found in the tomb of the mayor of Memphis the time of Ramses II unusual clay pots in which the chemists have discovered the most ancient at the moment, the traces of the cheese’s age of 3,300 years. Their findings were published in the journal Analytical Chemistry, reported on Friday, August 17, RIA Novosti.

“We found the oldest “hard” traces of cheese on the Ground. Although it was not isolated from the environment, lay in the hot sand of the desert and was in a highly alkaline environment, typically “cheesy” protein molecules were able to survive to the present day” – said the scientists.

Eight years ago, Egyptian archaeologists began excavations on the site of Saqqara, the earliest necropolis of Ancient Egypt located near Cairo. Three years later, they have discovered the tomb of Promesa, one of the rulers of Memphis in the time of Ramses II and SETI I.

His tomb was opened and described by British archaeologists in 1885, but later it was covered with sand and lost to science. Inside it, scientists have found not only a large number of funerary artifacts, but also a few partially broken clay pots, filled with a strange white powdery substance.

Mindful of the “curse of the mummy”, the archaeologists asked for help to chemists, asking them to understand that, previously kept in these pots, which Ptomes planned to take a trip to the “fields of reeds”.

Having dissolved some of this powder in water and examining it under the microscope, Greco and colleagues found that it contained a large number of sugars, and about 90 varieties of partially decomposed protein.

One of them consisted of casein, albumin, lysozyme, kaprin and many more chains of amino acids that are present in cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk or in dairy products. Further analysis showed that the cheese was made from cow’s milk and “starter” on the basis of the abomasum of a calf.

Interestingly, in the remains of cheese were present not only animals, but also bacterial proteins. They, as scientists have found, belonged to the pathogenic bacteria caused by Brucella melitensis, causing brucellosis, acute fever, like cows and other animals, and humans.

Chronicle of the Egyptian New Kingdom, according to the archaeologists, contain mention of the outbreak of such a disease. Now scientists have unambiguous evidence that these episodes were caused caused by Brucella melitensis.

Earlier it was reported that in Egypt found the tomb of an age of 4.4 thousand years. Archaeologists believe that it belonged to the priestess Chetpet, which was close to the reign of the fifth dynasty pharaohs.

As reported previously in Egypt, among the debris were pieces of a giant statue of the Pharaoh Ramesses II.

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