Look what we found at the archaeological dig: Want to eat some?

From The Smithsonian:

Modern archeologists, excavating ancient Egyptian tombs, have often found something unexpected amongst the tombs’ artifacts: pots of honey, thousands of years old, and yet still preserved. Through millennia, the archeologists discover, the food remains unspoiled, an unmistakable testament to the eternal shelf-life of honey.

There are a few other examples of foods that keep–indefinitely–in their raw state: salt, sugar, dried rice are a few. But there’s something about honey; it can remain preserved in a completely edible form, and while you wouldn’t want to chow down on raw rice or straight salt, one could ostensibly dip into a thousand year old jar of honey and enjoy it, without preparation, as if it were a day old. Moreover, honey’s longevity lends it other properties–mainly medicinal–that other resilient foods don’t have. Which raises the question–what exactly makes honey such a special food?

The answer is as complex as honey’s flavor–you don’t get a food source with no expiration date without a whole slew of factors working in perfect harmony.

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  • Rick

    What a sweet story.

  • mike

    what, no toast?

  • Amazing, truly.

  • Perhaps we can start a business selling little vials of honey from the Egypt of the Exodus!

  • smurf

    This news gladden my “apiculturist’s daughter” heart! I once made him a sampler that I now have–“Long Life? Eat Honey”

  • Phil Miller

    It kind of reminds me of stories I’ve read of explorers in the Siberian wilderness coming across mammoth carcasses that had been frozen in the ice. Some of them actually had quite a bit of frozen flesh still, and it was kind of the tradition of the people finding these things to eat some of it… They had been frozen for 20,000 – 30,000 years. Talk about freezer burn.

  • Susan_G1

    Honey really is an almost magical substance, not only because if it’s ability to last nearly forever, but it is beneficial in so many ways. Medicinally, it is better than dextromethorphan in cough suppression (and you won’t overdose on honey in reasonable amounts), and some honies are antibacterial, thus excellent for moist dressings of wounds (especially involving infections resistant to antibiotics); it has anti-inflammatory properties, actually promotes growth if tissue in wounds, promotes the breakdown of dead tissue, and is a natural humectant (moisturizer). Not all honey is equal, and it shouldn’t be given to babies under 1 year of age.

    We are losing bees at a terrible rate. The increased use of pesticides and fungicides has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder.