Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced the discovery of some of the oldest cheese ever found.
If you are someone who turns their nose up at the variety of exotic cheeses found at your local supermarket, you certainly won’t want to sample what archaeologists have dug up in the Saqqara necropolis near Cairo, Egypt recently.
The ancient blocks of cheese, which were found stored inside clay pots, are believed to be a type known as halloumi and date back 2,600 years to the 26th or 27th Egyptian dynasty.
Cheese was thought to have been a major part of the diet of ancient Egypt, with previously discovered evidence of cheesemaking in the region dating back as far as 5,000 years.
This particular cheese was made using a combination of goat’s and sheep’s milk.
The site of the find – Saqqara – once served as the necropolis for Memphis – the capital of ancient Egypt – and contains bodies interred over an extended period of more than 3,000 years.
Archaeologists who were excavating the site also uncovered a number of other pottery vessels and several artefacts inscribed with Demotic script – the same writing found on the Rosetta Stone.