Egyptian Mummies Got Meat Dishes for Eternity

Scientists look at 'meat mummies' for the first time

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 19, 2013 12:51 PM CST | Updated Nov 24, 2013 2:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Those ancient Egyptian mummifiers thought of everything, it seems. Even eternal snacks. Scientists have for the first time analyzed what they call "meat mummies," reports LiveScience. Those would be the cuts of meat that have been found alongside mummies of yore, preserved for the ages. The trick? In some of the samples, the only preservation seemed to be animal fat that got rubbed onto bandages covering the meat. But beef ribs found near a well-to-do couple buried about 1350BC have a more intriguing story, reports Science.

The bandages have traces of a rare, imported resin called Pistacia that hasn't previously been detected in the mummification process until 600 years after this couple died. The finding suggests that “mummification may have been more sophisticated in these early times than we originally thought,” says the lead researcher from the UK's University of Bristol. But not that sophisticated: The meat mummies "smell pretty disgusting," he adds.

  (Shutterstock)
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