A 3,200-Year-Old Cheese Was Found in an Egyptian Tomb, and Eating It Might Kill Us

Worth it?

If you're one of the thousands of real people who signed up to drink the putrid stink juice from this summer's black sarcophagus discovery, we've got good news: Scientists found the perfect cheese to pair it with.

Archaeologists digging in Egypt came across a big ol' hunk of something in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian mayor named Ptahmes, according to a new study published in the journal Analytical Chemistry. After suspecting it may have been food left in the tomb for Ptahmes' spirit—a little hereafter snack for the road—the research team was eventually able to identify it as the remains of an ancient cheese made from animal milk 3,200 years ago. That makes it the oldest solid cheese ever discovered.

But don't grab your grater just yet; the scientists also found traces of brucellosis, an infectious and deadly disease that passes from animals to people when they ingest unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat. Of course, for the sarcophagus crowd, that should be no problem.


Our recommendation? We've got plenty of good cheese in modern-day America—too much, in fact—so please stick to the cheddars and the bries that you're used to. And eat it now, because if Ptahmes taught us anything, you can't take it with you.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.comMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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Nate Erickson
Senior Lifestyle Editor
Nate Erickson is the senior lifestyle editor for He covers food, drink, travel, technology, and all other lifestyle topics.
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