The terrible diet of medieval Europe: why in ancient times they ate the embalmed bodies of mummies.

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It is impressive how little respect the Europeans had for the dead, who began to use their bodies for various purposes. In Arabic and Persian traditional medicine, natural bitumen was used. Even Avicenna (Ibn Sina) in the 11th century described its benefits for the treatment of abscesses, fractures, bruises, nausea, ulcers with the help of mummy (wax). At the same time, the works of Arab and Persian scientists were translated at the University of Salerno in Italy, where they did not know about the mummy and nothing was explained about it in the works, because in the East everyone already knew what it was. But Europeans interpreted this word as follows: “This is a substance that can be found in the lands where bodies are buried, embalmed from aloe, with which body fluids mix and turn into a mummy,” wrote the Italian scientist Gerard of Cremona. In the 13th century, all of Europe was convinced of the healing properties of mummies from Egyptian tombs.

< img class="aligncenter" src="/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/zhutkaja-dieta-srednevekovoj-evropy-dlja-chego-v-drevnosti-eli-zabalzamirovannye-tela-mumij-6b1def3.webp" alt= "The Terrible Diet of Medieval Europe: Why did the ancients eat embalmed mummy bodies?" />

In the 15th century, Egyptian mummies were seriously considered a medicine. This is where the tomb robbers started their business. Particular attention was paid to poor and relatively recent burials. Bitumen is indeed found there: it was used for embalming instead of the expensive meadow of soda and gum (tree resin). The resin was so strongly mixed with the tissues of the deceased that it was impossible to distinguish where the bitumen was and where the actual body of the deceased was.