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Archaeology & History

World's oldest cheese discovered in China

By T.K. Randall
March 3, 2014 · Comment icon 20 comments



Cheese has been a food staple for thousands of years. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 J.P.Lon
Cheese dating back more than 3,600 years has been found on mummies unearthed in the Taklamakan desert.
Unappetizing chunks of the aged delicacy appeared to have been buried alongside several mummies in the Xiaohe Cemetery, an ancient necropolis discovered in the 1930s.

The cheese itself is believed to have been a simple but nutritious variety that also seems to preserve rather well given that it managed to survive several millennia buried in the ground.
"Despite being extraordinary simple, it possessed the necessary qualities for supporting the economic expansion of ruminant animal herding into Eastern Eurasia," the study authors wrote.

Research leader Changsui Wang from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences collected together a total of 13 samples of cheese from 10 of the tombs.

It is thought that the cheese may have been buried with the deceased in the belief that it would help provide them with sustenance either in or on their way to the afterlife.

Source: Khaleej Times | Comments (20)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by atomk12 9 years ago
Dear China, Please separate this cheese and disperse it evenly amongst your entire population as soon as possible. Thank you.
Comment icon #12 Posted by ancient astronaut 9 years ago
And guess who's hungry? Yeah, he eats some gross ****.
Comment icon #13 Posted by alfonso 9 years ago
it might be knob cheese
Comment icon #14 Posted by Leonardo 9 years ago
I'll invite some archaeologists over to investigate my fridge. I'm fairly certain they'll find some cheese in there to beat this record.
Comment icon #15 Posted by YukiEsmaElite0 9 years ago
Ha. Things grow better with age. Save for cheese, apparently.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 9 years ago
Mmmm... mummy cheese.
Comment icon #17 Posted by PersonFromPorlock 9 years ago
I'm torn between calling it 'Headcheese' or 'Gamalost'. As for Limburger, nothing that hasn't already been through the digestive system should smell like that.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Duchess Gummybuns 9 years ago
I'm not even gonna make a "cut the cheese" joke. It would smell really bad.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Hawkin 9 years ago
I think his cheese slid off his cracker.-The Green Mile
Comment icon #20 Posted by FizzPuff 9 years ago
Sounds tasty I'd try it!


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