Mystery of the cocaine mummies

October 13, 2012 16:34

Mystery of the "cocaine mummies"

Sometimes archeology presents a real surprise. Recently, a study of Egyptian mummies surprised and puzzled scientists from around the world. Mummies in the 3000-year-old Egyptologists had traces of cocaine.

Apparently, cocaine and tobacco have been known since the time of the pharaohs. Really, they are "imported" from the U.S. to Egypt? Ie this continent was discovered long before Columbus? It was believed that the first Europeans saw cocaine tree after Columbus discovered the New Earth, and found many new species as plants and animals that can be seen only in America. Although, it's actually not the case — because if Columbus was the first European to see the American land, what explanation can be given to the fact that the bodies of Egyptian mummies were found traces of cocaine? It turns out that in ancient Egypt, long before Christopher Columbus discovered America, there was a connection with the American culture.

The study of this puzzle began in 1992 — then the curator of the museum in Munich, performed on the material of one of the mummies of many scientific tests. This mummy belonged Henttavi priestess, whose age was more than three thousand years. Museum staff during the experiment asked for help from a toxicology Svetlana Balabanova, who worked in Ulm in the Institute of Forensic Medicine. From research mummy priestess Henttavi big surprises Balabanov did not expect, as it had previously been studied pre-Columbian Peruvian mummy, hoping to find traces of the use of coca. She took samples from one incomplete mummies, one full and 7 detached heads. To the surprise of all study participants, the analysis revealed the presence of traces of cocaine and nicotine in the hair of mummies.

Scientists have begun to investigate other Egyptian mummies from the collection of the Museum of Munich and received the same incredible results. German scientists were surprised by these unexpected discoveries. Balabanova first could not believe, she decided that there was an error. She checked the equipment again, and realized that the accidental entry of any foreign matter was completely excluded. She is inspired by this incredible discovery, has assembled a group of experts in criminology, which had a new analysis of the Peruvian and Egyptian mummies and skeletons from southern Germany and Sudan. Everywhere mysteriously revealed traces of drugs.

Balabanov and her colleagues at the end of 1992 studied about 11 Egyptian mummies and in all cases found traces of nicotine. In 10 cases out of 11 — traces of cannabis, and in 8 cases — cocaine. At least 26 Peruvian mummies had traces of nicotine. All these results have led to a lively discussion. Attention all scientists was drawn to the "cocaine mummies". From the point of view of Egyptologists, such mummies in fact can not exist. In the X century BC, according to them, no transatlantic trade could not exist, because it would lead to an absolute change in people's perceptions of the ancient world. According to scientists, the studies Balabanova some mistake. However, the methods she used are also used by private companies and the police to identify people who use drugs. In case if such methods were unreliable, this would lead to significant legal consequences.

This discovery was a bombshell. After all, the birthplace of evergreens, large coca bush forests of South America. Then how did he come to Africa for more than a thousand years before Columbus? The results of these studies shook the whole basis of history. Researcher swamped with letters and ridiculed. But later everything became clear that Balabanov in their work was right. Found support for the results of its work. In the Nubian Desert in a few years, scientists have discovered the bodies of people who naturally turned into mummies. Were examined many mummies who lived more than 3,000 years ago. In the tissues of many of them have found traces of nicotine. It was also revealed that during the life of 56 people addicted to cocaine.

Egyptians in everyday life is very often used stupefying herbs, heady juices and spices. Opium, for example, could even be given to children so that they are not annoyed by trifles. Scientists estimate that the Egyptians knew of more than 800 drugs. Since opium is clear — in the Old World poppy growing. But what about the cocaine, which was found in the bodies of the Egyptians? Is there any way to explain it, without changing the usual picture of the development of civilization?

When the initial shock of discovery, remember that these facts have been known for a long time. They simply did not notice. When in 1922 excavated the tomb of Tutankhamen, found there are not only gold of the rulers, but the dried body of the tobacco beetle. French scientists, examining the mummy of Ramses II in 1976, and found another tobacco particles. At first, scientists have suggested that tobacco was accidentally spilled some of the archaeologists in the study of the tomb. However, all of the facts, this excuse does not explain. Samples of the substances were found even under a layer of resin, which caused in embalming. You can not accidentally spill tobacco there. In addition, these substances found in the abdominal cavity of the mummy.

Tobacco is known to have excellent antibacterial properties — it protects the body from decay. For this reason, the Egyptians used it for mummification. Perhaps even the Egyptians were smoking tobacco. Researchers found near Giza clay pipes, which is dated 2000-1700 BCE The researchers chose to ignore the old school these strange discoveries and come up with a rather unnatural explanation. For example, a researcher Renate Germer argued that the mummy of Ramses II unswathe in the XIX century and it was then that the mummy inside and got tobacco. There are other, more plausible version. Some common plants of the Old World also contains nicotine. For example — Syrian volchnik, stonecrop, spotted arum. Nicotine may have in some other species of flora known to man — his search has not led, as the modern need for nicotine relieves tobacco. This possibility Egyptians had. Therefore, many scientists believe that the traces of nicotine in the pyramids and mummies have some other origin.

But as in this case, to be with cocaine? On this question, scientists still can not answer. Can not yet scientifically proved that the Egyptians have been in the New World. But at this point time and again expressed the hypothesis. Anthropologists in 1910 when discussing the pyramids of Mexico, came to the conclusion that probably their design and not an invention of the American Indian. Technology that they can take over in Egypt. There were a lot of similarities — the custom of burying the dead in the pyramids, their design, the exact knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. Scientists evaluating all parallels, have come to the conclusion that it was born in Egypt civilization and from there spread to other regions. In 1970 Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl proved that on Egyptian papyrus boats could cross the Atlantic. Africans could come to America. The only question is, whether they were started in these long voyages?

You can recall the mysterious country of Punt, which was very far from Egypt. According to legend, a trip to this country lasted about four years. There was no way to reach it on foot. At the end of the XVI century BC Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut ordered an expedition and went to the country. Modern historians believe that this country is in Somalia, however, there is a strong likelihood that it could be in the territory of South America. The expedition returned with valuable raw materials and luxury goods. Ships returned, a loaded goods.

The inscriptions, which were carved on the walls of the temple of Der el-Bahri said that travelers crossing the sea. All this suggests that modern science clearly underestimates the possibility of archaic cultures. Seeming at first isolation of Egypt was in fact "isolation" from the rest of Egyptology Sciences. Perhaps the world is not all developed as presented by modern historians. Perhaps people more than once, as before the dinosaurs, almost completely razed the asteroid impact. In this case, the remains of a civilization whose ancestors walked on board for the entire planet and had a great seafaring maps, had to restart the story.

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