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Saturday, March 1, 2014

The world's oldest cheese found on a mummy

The oldest cheeses in the world are found in the neck and chest of a mummy in China, and it is estimated more than 3,500 years old. Cheese was found along with a mummy in the Taklamakan Desert, China, and have estimated its age by the scientists of Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology and Genetics.
Two hundred mummies were discovered in the 1930s by a Swedish archaeologist in the Taklimakan Desert north of Tibet. The site is known as Small River Cemetery Number 5. (Picture from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
According to scientists, the cheese on the mummy originated during 1615 BC, and was makes it as the oldest cheese in the world. "We did not just find the oldest cheese but also direct evidence of ancient technology that is easy and inexpensive.'s General technology," said Andrej Shevchenko who involved the discovery as quoted from IBTimes, on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.
The oldest cheeses in the world are found in the chest of a mummy. (Picture from: http://www.slashgear.com/)
The oldest cheese has preserved with the mummy in the Small River Cemetery No. 5, and was first discovered by a Swedish archaeologist in the 1930s. The cemetery includes a number of Bronze Age man buried in the dunes, under a wooden boat similar object.
Some of the mummies (pictured) were found to have unusual crumbs on their necks and chest which are now known to ancient cheese. They were preserved - complete with their felt hats - die to the dry conditions of their desert burial. (Picture from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
Similar wooden boat objects was coated with a layer of like a cow skin, which creates a vacuum so as to preserve dead bodies in it. Embalming is also helped by the dry desert conditions. The cheeses come preserved until thousands of years.

The results of this research have been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, which said at first scientists found crumbs on the mummy's neck and chest. After conducting the analysis of protein and fat, researchers know that it is crumbs of cheese. It is unknown why the cheese sprinkled on the corpse. However, Shevchenko suspect that the cheese was sprinkled as food for the afterlife.

Previous research has shown that the oldest cheese making technology comes from the past 7,000 years ago. However, the result of making cheese at that time was never found. Researchers speculate that, during this mummified human life, the cheese is made by mixing milk with yeast, a technique still used today.

According to researchers, the method is low in cost and very helpful for distributing grazing in Asia and the Middle East. Craig Oliver, a Bio archaeologist from the University of York who was not involved the study said, though not sure about how to make cheese, the fact that the cheese was still holding quite amazing. (See related video in here.) *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | DAILYMAIL]
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