Modern vegetarians may have a lot in common with the ancient Egyptians, much more than you might imagine. Yes, because archaeologists and experts believe that they followed a diet consisting largely of vegetables, fruit, wheat and barley.
A hypothesis that has been taken into consideration for years for all the ancient sedentary populations. But that has now been confirmed with carbon analysis, revealing what the ancient Egyptians really ate.
The credit goes to a team of researchers who, studying 45 mummies that lived in Egypt between 3500 BC and 600 AD, were able to establish that they followed a diet made up of a lot of barley and wheat , as also evidenced by the agricultural scenes painted on the walls. of their graves.
And the fish? Little, very little. Almost absent. This data surprised scholars, convinced that fish could be a fundamental food for a people who lived along the Nile, as many cultural testimonies would also prove, from wall reliefs to the archaeological remains of spears and nets, passing through commercial offers with fish. from sites like Gaza and Amama, explains Kate Spence, an archaeologist and specialist in Egypt at the University of Cambridge.
It is surprising, therefore, that carbon analyzes suggest that the fish has not been widely consumed. In reality, however, some texts have indicated that some species of fish were not eaten for religious reasons.
“We had an approach that was a bit different than usual,” explained Alexandra Touzeau, who led the research group at the University of Lyon. “We have worked a lot with bones and teeth, while most researchers have until now studied hair, collagen and protein. We also worked on different periods ”.