The Oldest Evidence of Cheese in Egypt

Cheese: An Introduction

Cheese is a dairy product. It is derived from milk. It is formed by the coagulation of milk protein ‘Casein’. So, it is a nutritious food. Thus, it is good for health. But, its over-consumption is not good. It has a wide range of flavors and textures. Milk of cows, buffalo, sheep or goat is used for its making. Thus, this essay will discuss a scientific discovery of 2018 which showed the evidence of cheese in ancient Egypt.


The discovery

It was the year 1885. Treasure hunters discovered a tomb. It was the tomb of Ptahmes. He was a high-ranking Egyptian official. It was 2010. A team of archaeologists from Cairo university again rediscovered the tomb. They recovered some broken jars. Then it came the year 2018. A piece of news was announced. It revealed that researchers found ancient evidence of cheese in Egypt from those discovered jars.


Tomb of Ptahmes

There is a famous necropolis in Egypt. It is Saqqara necropolis. This tomb is located at that place. The tomb is 70 meters long. Ptahmes worked under the reign of Pharaoh Seti I and Ramesses II. They belong ot the 19th dynasty of the New Kingdom. It was around the 13th century BCE. Ptahmes was the mayor of an ancient Egyptian city. It was Memphis.


The evidence of cheese

The University of Cairo collaborated with the University of Catania. The latter is located in Italy. This collaboration took place because of the execution of some scientific analysis. The broken jars contained solidified material. The researchers were not sure about what the material was. So, they decided to initiate the scientific analysis.

It was researchers from the University of Catania. They analyzed the material. Then, they came up with the result that it was cheese. Milk of sheep and goat was available in ancient Egypt. This specimen was made off of those animals’ milk. Its date goes back to approximately 3,200 years ago. So it was a great discovery. Because it gave evidence of cheese in ancient Egypt.


Evidence of disease

The discovery is significant. Because it also revealed the evidence of disease in ancient Egypt. The researchers found a piece of interesting information. It is about the quality of the cheese. It was an unpasteurized dairy product. The researchers were sure about it. Because they found a specific bacterium in the cheese. It can cause an infectious disease. It is ‘Brucellosis’. This disease comes from unpasteurized dairy products. So, this evidence supports the argument. It is the presence of that disease in ancient Egypt. According to researchers, fever, sweating, muscle aches, etc. are some symptoms of this disease. It still exists today. So this discovery is valuable. Because it throws light of the palaeo-pathology of that period. Palaeo-pathology is the study of ancient disease.

The oldest evidence of cheese in Egypt

The researchers said that it was the oldest evidence of consumption of cheese in ancient Egpyt. So this discovery is important. Because it also shows that cheese is not a new product of the modern age. It is an ancient product. Humans have been consuming it for a long time.