Archaeologists discover 2,600-year-old-cheese in ancient Egyptian tomb

Anish Vij

Published 
| Last updated 

Archaeologists discover 2,600-year-old-cheese in ancient Egyptian tomb

Featured Image Credit: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/Facebook/University of Catania and Cairo University

I can't think of any grate cheese puns so I'm going to get straight into it.

Archaeologists have basically mysteriously unearthed the remains of a 2,600-year-old-cheese in an ancient Egyptian tomb.

The expedition found set moulds of Halloumi inside large vessels, which date back to the 26th and 27th Egyptian dynasties (664-404 BCE). 

I can't bare to imagine the smell.

Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese made from sheep's milk and preserved in brine. Credit: Etienne Voss/Alamy Stock Photo
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese made from sheep's milk and preserved in brine. Credit: Etienne Voss/Alamy Stock Photo

Dr. Mustafa Waziri, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Archeology, who was in charge of the expedition, says that Ancient Egyptians used to refer to the cheese as 'Haram'.

This has since changed during Coptic times to the word 'Haloum' - and that's where we get the name 'Halloumi cheese' from, Waziri says.

The expedition found set moulds of Halloumi inside large vessels, which date back to the 26th and 27th Egyptian dynasties (664-404 BCE). Credit: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
The expedition found set moulds of Halloumi inside large vessels, which date back to the 26th and 27th Egyptian dynasties (664-404 BCE). Credit: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Perhaps, rather suprisingly, this isn't the oldest cheese found to date.

In 2018, archaeologists found a 'solidified whitish mass' in the tomb of Ptahmes.

"The material analysed is probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found to date," said Dr Enrico Greco, from the University of Catania, who worked with colleagues at the Cairo University in Egypt to determine its identity.

"We know it was made mostly from sheep's and goat's milk, but for me it's really hard to imagine a specific flavour."

In 2018, archaeologists found a 'solidified whitish mass' in the tomb of Ptahmes. Credit: University of Catania and Cairo University
In 2018, archaeologists found a 'solidified whitish mass' in the tomb of Ptahmes. Credit: University of Catania and Cairo University

Via translated text, the ministry of Tourism and Antiques said the recent discovery of the cheese hasn't been the only artefacts the expedition uncovered.

They said: "It is noteworthy that the Egyptian archaeological mission started its work at the site since 2018, and through its last five excavation seasons, they have managed to uncover the unique tomb of the fifth family priest 'Wahati', as well as 7 rock tombs, including three modern state tombs and four tombs from the D Old Wullah, and cemetery front from the old country.

"Plus, to uncover more than a thousand finance mascots, dozens of wooden cat statues, cat meows, wooden statues and animal meows.

"And in 2020, more than 100 wooden coffins sealed in their first late-era state inside burial wells were unveiled, 40 statues of the cowardly god of Saqara with stunning parts and 20 wooden boxes of the god Horus.

"The discovery has been rated one of the ten most important archaeological discoveries of 2020 and the most eye-catching, according to Archaeology magazine."

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Topics: News, World News

Anish Vij
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Film & TV

New Tim Burton Wednesday series on Netflix has broken Addams Family record

4 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Cardi B threatened with legal action over Marge Simpson Halloween costume

6 hours ago