Whenever researchers uncover an ancient relic from thousands of years past, it seems people will go to great lengths in order to eat the antiquities for dinner. Just as weirdos clamored to drink the noxious mummy juice from an Egyptian sarcophagus earlier this month, a similar group of trolls is trying do the same with the oldest cheese ever discovered.
An archeological research team in Egypt discovered a 3,200 year-old vat of cheese in the tomb of Ptahmes, publishing their find the journal Analytical Chemistry in July. The cheese, which scientists determined was 3,200 years old, was teeming with a bacterium that can cause the disease brucellosis -- rendering the discovery not only the world's most archaic dairy product, but the oldest case of a dairy-based pathogen.
While news of the discovery traveled last week, the internet drew parallels between the cheese and the filthy Egyptian crypt, and made plenty of ironic overtures to the powers that be in order to eat the bacteria-laden cheese.
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The scientists, led by Enrico Greco from Italy's University of Catania, suspect the cheese was probably left behind by the owner of the tomb thousands of years ago. "The material analyzed in this study is probably the most ancient archeological solid residue of cheese ever found to date," the study notes.
After analyzing the sample, researchers detected peptides characteristic of cheese made from cow, sheep or goat's milk. When it was discovered, "the sample was wrapped with a canvas into a broken jar," according to Greco.
While the idea of eating a culinary relic dredged up from an Egyptian crypt sounds totally epic to some people, the scientists would probably advise against it.
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