HE COCAINE MUMMIES


Evidence that the ancient Egyptians embarked on long sea voyages and reached the Americas before Columbus is something that has perplexed scientists for decades. Could it be so?

The mystery of the cocaine mummies is still a hotly debated subject in the field of Egyptology. Analysis of Ramesses the Great’s mummy in 1976 revealed that he had traces of tobacco clinging to the fibres of his ancient wrappings.

Tobacco isn’t something that existed in ancient Egypt in the time of Ramesses. Or so historians believe. Is this evidence of intercontinental contact with the Americas? Or is it simple contamination? Most people certainly thought the latter.

Until further studies were taken of Ramesses’ intestinal tissue and sure enough, traces of cannabis, coca and tobacco was found.

More tests were done on a further seven mummies who showed positive results for cocaine. Could this mean that the Egyptians obtained these plants via ancient trade routes?

If so, it would mean that intercontinental cultural contact is a plausible notion.

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