Equinox brings us this investigation of a mystery that is baffling Egyptologists. The case calls into question whole areas of accepted scientific fact from botany, through chemistry to archaeology. In 1992, routine tests on a mummy in a Munich museum revealed high body levels of cocaine and nicotine. But such substances were not available in ancient Egypt, coming as they do from the Americas – not, apparently, to be “discovered” for thousands of years after the passing of the Egyptian dynasties. Are the mummies fakes; were the substances from plants that have since disappeared or were there, in fact, trade routes between Egypt and South America that predate accepted chronology?
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