Scientists hope to recreate a slice of ancient Egypt by baking bread with 5,000-year-old yeast

Mail Online | 7/31/2019 | Ian Randall For Mailonline
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Experts are trying to cultivate 5,000-year-old yeast found in clay pots to make the same kind of bread that would have been broken by the Ancient Egyptians.

The unusual baking project has been realised thanks to a special procedure for extracting ancient yeast from artefacts without damaging them.

Fashion - Researchers - Beer

In a similar fashion, researchers also think they could make ancient beer.

The plan to raise the bread of the ancients was cooked up by tech developer Seamus Blackley and University of Iowa biologist Richard Bowman — the latter of whom has devised a method of collecting microbes from ancient ceramics without damage.

Fluid - Syringe - Cotton - Contact - Ceramics

'You pump a fluid in carefully with a syringe and some sterile cotton in contact with the ceramics. It soaks in and you vacuum it back out,' Mr Bowman told The Times.

The solution feeds the microbes, he explained, adding that 'it doesn’t take long for these guys to wake up.'

Mr - Blackley - Microbes - Bread - Moulds

Mr Blackley sampled microbes from bread moulds, beer vessels and other artefacts from the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Harvard's Peabody Museum, with help from University of Queensland Egyptologist Serena Love.

The collections of the museum in Boston even feature a real Egyptian load of bread.

Dough - Pair - Microorganisms - Times - Contaminants

Before any dough can be kneaded, however, the pair have to distinguish which of the collected microorganisms are from ancient times and which might be modern contaminants from the museum or the archaeologists who unearthed the pots.

'At the bio lab, we will characterise and separate out the various organisms we harvested from the vessels and breads,' Mr Blackley wrote on Twitter.

Contaminant - Guess - Samples

We can then see what’s modern, and likely a contaminant, and what’s old. We will then make a guess, using all the samples,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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