Over the past year, archaeology has amplified in their methods thanks to improved methods and the advancement of technology. Because of this fact, the Inquisitr reported on new discoveries and research that wouldn’t be possible at an earlier time. For example, through satellite images, archaeologists are able to pinpoint the location of Genghis Khan’s tomb. On the other hand, mysteries of already-discovered artifacts are being unveiled, in which researchers figured out with the etchings on the Shigir Idol mean.
With all the progressions made in archaeology, there are some discoveries that are very interesting, but at the same time unique (and probably disgusting). The latest archaeological discovery fits such criteria as the newest artifact uncovered is ancient cheese older older than Jesus Christ!
According to USA Today and followed-up by Popular Science, archaeologists have found the world’s oldest cheese which dates back as early as 1615 BC. Yet, the most disgusting part of the discovery isn’t the fact it is cheese, but where it was found. It was discovered as yellowish clumps found on the necks and chests of Chinese mummies from the Small River Cemetery Number 5 in northwest China.
From what analytic chemist of Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics Andrej Shevchenko has stated, the cemetery conditions are optimal for preservation. Originally documented by Swedish archaeologists back in the 1930s, it sits in the Taklamakan Desert, where Bronze Age people buried dozens of their own on top of a large sand dune adjacent to a presently dried-up river. The dead were interred in large wooden boats, wrapped so tightly with cowhide that it “vacuum-sealed” the bodies. The combination of dry desert air and salty soil prevented decay.
Evidently, the preservation was so good, not only was ancient cheese preserved, but so were the mummies’ light-brown hair and non-Asian facial features. Felt hats, wool capes, and leather boots were also in preserved condition. It should also be reported that the ancient cheese was determined through tests and not just assumed. Through analysis, the cheese was made by combining milk with a “starter,” a mix of bacteria and yeast. Presently, this technique is used to make kefir and kefir cheese. However, it is unknown why the mummies had cheese around their necks and on their chests.
In conclusion, it is amazing that cheese even survived this long, therefore making it exceptional. Usually, dairy products will liquefy and dissolve if left to their own devices due to bacteria degenerating it.
[Featured Image via House of Cheese, Post Image via Wang de Gang]