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Darryl Shaw
02-26-2010, 06:52 AM
Ancient Egyptian priests 'killed by rich ritual food'

Lavish banquets offered to ancient Egyptian gods blocked the arteries of priests who took the food home to their families, say UK researchers.

An analysis of the foods listed in hieroglyphic inscriptions on temple walls showed the meals offered to the gods were laden with saturated fat.

And scans of priests' mummified remains showed many had blocked arteries.

The research, published in The Lancet, shows atherosclerosis is not just a modern disease, say the authors.

Professor Rosalie David, an egyptologist from the University of Manchester, said: "There couldn't be a more evocative message: live like a god and you will pay with your health."

The translations of inscriptions on the walls of Egyptian temples showed that priests would offer the gods meals of beef, goose, bread, fruit, vegetables, cake, wine and beer three times a day.

After the ritual offering, they would take home the food for themselves and their families

A dietary analysis showed a very high fat content in the food offered. For example, goose meat is 63% fat, with 20% of it saturated.

The bread was richer than modern bread, often being enriched with fat, milk, and eggs.

The researchers say salt intake was also likely to have been high because it was often used as a preservative.

The food offered to the gods was much richer than the more frugal, mainly vegetarian, diet that most Egyptians ate.

The authors surveyed evidence from over 60 mummies which had been analysed over the past 30 years using X-rays or rehydrated tissue samples.

They found clear evidence of blocked arteries and arterial damage among priests and their families.

Among 16 mummies whose hearts and arteries could be identified by CT scans, nine had evidence of hardened arteries.

"There was a marked incidence of blocked arteries among priests and their families," said Professor David.

"We have been able to show how temple inscriptions, which recorded daily rituals, can be combined with investigation of mummies to provide additional evidence about the priests and their diet.

"Inscriptions on coffins associated with individual mummies provide the owner's names and titles and this information can be used to associate the diseases discovered in these mummies with specific social groups, in this case the priests and their families."

Co-author Professor Tony Heagerty, from the Cardiovascular Research Group at Manchester University, added: "There is unequivocal evidence to show that atherosclerosis is a disease of ancient times, induced by diet, and that the epidemic of atherosclerosis which began in the 20th Century is nothing more than history revisiting us."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8536480.stm

Donald Lee
02-26-2010, 11:29 AM
But if the priests were slaving making the pyramids, would their diet still have caused atherosclerosis?

Garrett Smith
02-26-2010, 12:58 PM
So these foods...
bread, fruit, cake, wine and beer three times a day
combined with high amounts of fat are bad for the arteries?

Who'da thunk it?

I'm going to cut back on my breakfast & lunch fruit sandwiches washed down with beer and wine after reading this, for sure. :D

Scott Kustes
02-26-2010, 05:42 PM
So these foods...

combined with high amounts of fat are bad for the arteries?

Who'da thunk it?

I'm going to cut back on my breakfast & lunch fruit sandwiches washed down with beer and wine after reading this, for sure. :D
Yeah, interesting that the bias was focused solely on the fat, as per usual, huh?

Garrett Smith
02-26-2010, 08:46 PM
Yes, let us blame the "rich" foods (aka "fatty"), rather than looking into total carbohydrate and alcohol intake as well...

Blair Lowe
02-27-2010, 01:07 AM
The upper class and posh society has been known for many eons to be soft and fatter than the other classes of society.

Remember, how it was thought that muscular tone was something of the poor and masses?

Wayne Riddle
02-27-2010, 03:33 AM
Yes, let us blame the "rich" foods (aka "fatty"), rather than looking into total carbohydrate and alcohol intake as well...

And to also note, the "rich classes" were the ones that added such things as cakes and nice rich breads to the diets as they could afford those items. The poor people had to raise their own food.

Darryl Shaw
03-01-2010, 06:33 AM
But if the priests were slaving making the pyramids, would their diet still have caused atherosclerosis?

I'm no historian but I think that priests stuck to priestin' while slaves did the slavin'.

Darryl Shaw
03-01-2010, 06:47 AM
Yes, let us blame the "rich" foods (aka "fatty"), rather than looking into total carbohydrate and alcohol intake as well...

The type of frugal high carbohydrate near vegetarian diet that was consumed by the Egyptian poor is not associated with an increased risk of CVD yet study after study has shown that diets high in both saturated and total fats are associated with an increased risk. The findings of this recent research on Egyptian priests merely reflects this fact and demonstrates that this seemingly modern disease is in fact nothing new.

Wayne Riddle
03-02-2010, 02:30 AM
The type of frugal high carbohydrate near vegetarian diet that was consumed by the Egyptian poor is not associated with an increased risk of CVD yet study after study has shown that diets high in both saturated and total fats are associated with an increased risk.

The last few studies I saw showed no correlation between saturated fats and CVD.

Robert Johnson
03-02-2010, 03:53 AM
Bananas are the best fruit and they didn't have bananas.

James Evans
03-02-2010, 05:23 AM
But if the priests were slaving making the pyramids, would their diet still have caused atherosclerosis?

Why would the priests be slaving over the construction of the pyramids? That's what they had slaves for.


Apologies to Darryl on reading back through the thread, I see you've covered priestin' and a slavin'.

Darryl Shaw
03-02-2010, 05:26 AM
The last few studies I saw showed no correlation between saturated fats and CVD.

There is a great body of evidence showing an association between high SAFA intakes and CVD and until there is unequivocal evidence proving it to be wrong I feel that the smart thing to do is go with the consensus view and keep your SAFA intake as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet.

James Evans
03-02-2010, 05:26 AM
The upper class and posh society has been known for many eons to be soft and fatter than the other classes of society.

Remember, how it was thought that muscular tone was something of the poor and masses?

The upper classes were originally the warrior class of society. They held that position by virtue of their ability to defend the weaker elements of society. The advent of professional armies were in part to blame for the change in this status. And inbreeding.

But we're talking centuries not eons.

James Evans
03-02-2010, 05:31 AM
After the ritual offering, they would take home the food for themselves and their families


Hmmm, what a surprise - the gods don't take the food so let's not see it go to waste.

Religion = scamming the masses since the dawn of time.

Scott Kustes
03-02-2010, 06:26 AM
Why would the priests be slaving over the construction of the pyramids? That's what they had slaves for.


Apologies to Darryl on reading back through the thread, I see you've covered priestin' and a slavin'.
Recent evidence says that the pyramids weren't built by slaves, but by free workers.

James Evans
03-02-2010, 06:40 AM
Recent evidence says that the pyramids weren't built by slaves, but by free workers.

It would still seem highly unlikely that the High Priests of Osiris were getting their hands roughed up on the construction site.

Scott Kustes
03-02-2010, 02:27 PM
No doubt. Just trying to be historically accurate. :-D

Wayne Riddle
03-02-2010, 03:41 PM
There is a great body of evidence showing an association between high SAFA intakes and CVD and until there is unequivocal evidence proving it to be wrong I feel that the smart thing to do is go with the consensus view and keep your SAFA intake as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet.

There is a great body of evidence showing no association between high SAFA intakes and CVD and until there is unequivocal evidence proving it to be wrong I feel that the smart thing to do is not worry about it and enjoy.

Tyler Micheli
03-02-2010, 03:46 PM
Supporting the lack of need for hordes of stone pushing slaves, geopolymer concrete! The same insanely strong stuff that may thwart our bunker busters from crushing Iran.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/10/super-concrete-in-the-us-military-iran-and-the-pyramids/