On Mummies, Sisters and Wine

My sister and I connect in a lot of ways, but one of them is not wine. She doesn’t drink, so it’s hard to share my enthusiasm for wine. That’s one of the reasons I like stories like this one.

Apparently scientists have determined that white wine occupied some of the vessels found in King Tuts’ tomb in Egypt. Previous stories had Tut enjoying only red wine. But liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry now show that wine wine was placed into these jars that went with the boy king into the afterlife. But what’s more interesting is that there is no record of there being white wine in Egypt until 1,600 years after Tut’s death.

My sister is a mucky-muck at the San Jose Egyptian Museum, one of the finest Egyptian themed museum in the world. She’s traveled to Egypt countless times, played host to that country’s famed Director of Antiquities and has spent many a day inside the tombs and pyramids of Ancient Egypt.

I figure this story is bound to capture her interest. But it’s also of interest for what it tells us about our understanding of history and the ancient world. We tend to think we know so much. We believe we understand what came and went before us. I’m not suggesting that we take written history with a grain of salt. Rather, it’s important to keep our minds open to the idea that what be believe is fact, my be just our best estimate.


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