- The Plate
Packing Food for the Hereafter in Ancient Egypt
When death came, as it inevitably did, the ancient Egyptian pharaohs and their relatives were ready for it. Each had spent years preparing a lavish tomb stocked with everything they might need or want in the afterlife, including food, preserved for eternity.
Even meat and poultry were on the menu. To keep these highly perishable foods tasty until the end of time, the Egyptians mummified them—slowly drying them with salt, bandaging them and covering the bundle with resins—much as they would a human body.
A recent study has identified one of the resins used in this process: the sap from a tree related to the pistachio, which was slathered over beef ribs before they were buried with the great-grandparents of