Ancient Egypt – Alimentation: the pork

The mummy of Narni

Maybe underdone, or rear, but since Cleopatra’s epoch, on the Egyptian banquets there already was pork meat.
It has been proved for the first time in a scientific way, by a group of researchers of the University in Pisa, who have discovered in the stomach of a mummy from late Tolemaica age, I-II century BC, the most ancient case of cistercercosi, a disease caused by a parasite ingested eating raw pork meat. The professor Fabrizio Bruschi, a member of the equip who made the research explains that this discovery gives an important contribution, for the historians who obtain information about the ancient people’s habits, the research proves in a scientific way that the Egyptians who lived in the epoch of this mummy ate pork meat.
Up to now it was certain that this happened, also because there was who supposed there could be a kind of hygienic-religious prohibition, probably because swine were considered not only dirty, but also impure.
On the lining of the stomach of the mummy a lesion has been found caused by Tenia solium or Tenia of the swine, a parasite that is ingested eating raw or underdone pork meat.
The cistercercosi is a disease almost completely disappeared among us, but which in some places in the world, particularly in South America and Central America, still represents a plague.
The mummy studied in Pisa is the so-called Narni mummy, kept in Narni city, in Umbria, brought in Italy in 1920.
It is a girl who died around 20 years old. Usually the cistercercosi is contracted in not the best hygienic conditions. In any way, it’s not known if it caused her epilepsy, even if it probably provoked or quickened the death.
Surely she was well-off. The mummifying and the fact that she was found in a sarcophagus prove it. After death she must have overcome not a few misadventures.
It’s enough to think that the sarcophagus that held her was a man’s one.

Precedente The alimentation in Ancient Egypt Successivo Hymn to Isis found in Nag Hammadi