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Ancient Egyptians Created "Meat Mummies" So Dead Could Continue To Eat 93

sciencehabit writes "What is your beloved mummy going to eat for the rest of eternity? For some ancient Egyptians, the answer included meat. In King Tutankhamun's tomb, for example, archaeologists found 48 wooden cases of butchered cuts of beef and poultry. But unlike offerings of fruit and grains, which could last for quite a while once dehydrated and placed in dry tombs, pieces of meat required special treatment. After just a few hours in the desert heat, 'they will become a terrible mess if you don't take some steps to preserve them,' says Richard Evershed, an archaeological chemist at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. The solution? Mummify. Now, a team of researchers led by Evershed is shedding light on the embalming processes used to create these so-called meat mummies, including mummified beef ribs."
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Ancient Egyptians Created "Meat Mummies" So Dead Could Continue To Eat

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    • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Monday November 18, 2013 @07:19PM (#45458973)

      Think of it as an analogue to McDonalds, or SPAM.

    • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Monday November 18, 2013 @07:29PM (#45459043)

      Nerds love jerky.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Monday November 18, 2013 @07:42PM (#45459121) Homepage Journal

      "archaeological chemist"
      How is that not news for nerds?
      This is awesome nerd fair.

    • Really?

      The "Archeological Chemist" apparently knows next to nothing about food preservation. This "mess after a few hours" thing is bunk.

      As the U.S. Army Survival Manual has been saying for at least 4 decades: in a hot, arid desert, you can bury a piece of raw meat the size of your arm under the sand, and it will remain edible (if somewhat dried out) for at least 2 years.

  • ...this was lunch. Every day. I went back to the old campus recently and now it's a high end food court. The lunch ladies morphed into hot young babes.
    • Now that you've old and toothless, campus food is indeed perfect and the middle-aged angry girls look like babes.

      • Since you wrote "you've" when you apparently meant "you're", I'm guessing you're still rocking junior high.

        Nice snipe, though. With whom are *you* so angry?
        • That wasn't personal, sorry if you took it that way.
          Your statement just conjured an image of how old I would have to be to find the lunch ladies attractive...

          Typos happen, it's freezing in this lab, to keep the magic smoke inside darn components.

  • ..Is there such a thin"g as healthy / organic jerky? I have to go on a long trip for the holidays and need to keep a carload of people sated.. "meat mummies" however, does not sound as appealing as "hungry man" or "Smoked Bronco Billy's", or "snackmasters" ; don't think I could convince the wife..
    • Well, here's some of the stuff my family used for the 8-12 hour drives to visit relatives when I was a kid:
      -- Non-dense cereals (different brands/flavors to suit people) in ziploc baggies
      -- Anything that can be used in a non-refrigerated brown-bag lunch works -- bring an ice chest for anything that's better when cold.
      -- Cheese & deli meat safe at room temp (e.g. salami, pepperoni...)
      -- Soft French bread rounds (for sandwiches or alone) & mustard
      -- Large croissants (alone or sandwiches)
      -- Garlic brea

    • try biltong, it's far better than anything jerked, it's made from real cuts of meat, vinegar, herbs, spices and salt. oh, and the name means 'buttock strips'
    • Jerky Direct has organics.
  • How do you tell the diner from the food?

  • by themushroom ( 197365 ) on Monday November 18, 2013 @07:30PM (#45459053) Homepage

    When people were mummified, their internal organs were put into clay pots in the sarcophagus.
    So if the kings were to eat after death... where did anyone think the food was going to go?

    • There is no better thing for a mummy to eat, than tasty morsels of mummy meat!

      No chance of it going bad in their abdominal cavity.

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      Did they know the same physiology that we do today? Did they know that the stomach and intestine were needed for digestion?

      • My thoughts similarly. After all, didn't they think that the brain's only purpose was to produce mucus?
    • Maybe the king died as he was eating, and they wrapped up his left-over food? This is the first I've ever heard of there being "food" in any tomb.

      I wish I knew the context behind why they did anything that they did in ancient Egypt.
  • But the treatment process is very delicate so it's only available a few times a year.
  • I would eat some mummy meat. I bet it might be tasty.

    Heh. In more practical terms, it would be cool to figure out what went into making this meat. We could eat ancient Egyptian meat, much in the same way that we enjoy Midas Touch from Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales.

  • Ignorance is bliss....
  • Would this undermine claims on Slim Jim proprietary recipe?

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday November 18, 2013 @07:53PM (#45459193) Homepage

    This is an outrage - I was going to eat that mummy!

  • a McDonald's near you: "Meat McMummy". And don't peal off the simulated gauze wrapping: it's edible. Yum!

  • In-N-Out-Mummy, Mummy King, Mummy-In-The-Box, McMummy's ...

  • I always thought Finnan haddie was supernatural.
  • But What Does it Taste Like?

  • ... man cannot live on Twinkies alone.

  • must have found this recipe a couple of decades ago.

  • " After just a few hours in the desert heat, 'they will become a terrible mess if you don't take some steps to preserve them,' says Richard Evershed, an archaeological chemist at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom." I always suspected that meat might go bad under those circumstances but am so glad to see that my tax money is being used to fund a Professor (we are not worthy!) to confirm this. Does he have a citation in a peer-reviewed journal for his incredible claim though? Or is it just a wi
  • Have I got a product for you!
  • With the amazing Ancient Egyptian Diet you'll lose weight fast and those pounds will stay off, forever!
  • Zombie bacon.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.