Then they used state-of-the-art scanning techniques known as liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.
The characteristics of the canvas fabric, which indicate it was suitable for containing a solid rather than a liquid, and the absence of other specific markers, support the conclusion that the dairy product was a solid cheese.
They found signs of a bacterium known in modern medicine to cause brucellosis, a highly contagious disease that can be transmitted from infected animals to humans through unpasteurized meat and dairy products.
If the researchers' suspicions are confirmed, the 3,200-year-old sample will also provide the world's oldest reported biomolecular evidence of brucellosis.
Should archeologists unearth ancient crackers that'll pair well with sarcophagus juice and diseased cheese, all we'll need is a ouija board for the ultimate cursed game night.
For thousands of years beneath Egypt's desert sands a solidified whitish substance sat in a broken jar.More news: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings Will Begin Sept. 4
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One of the jars contained a "solidified whitish mass" along with canvas fabric believed to have possibly been covering the opening for preservation.
Researchers may have discovered a jar of the world's oldest cheese in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian mayor, but - frustratingly for turophiles - the taste of the bacteria-laced sample is likely to remain a mystery.
Dr Greco said: 'The tomb of Ptahmes, mayor of Memphis and high-ranking official under the Pharaohs Sethi I and Ramses II (1290-1213 B.C.) of the XIX dynasty was rediscovered in 2010 after a part of it was revealed in 1885 and lost under the sands at the end of the 19th century.
Greco said not everything in the jar was cheese because the site underwent "a series of very high cyclical environmental stresses", contaminating the cheese with sand and soil.
Researchers from the University of Catania in Italy and Cairo University in Egypt stumbled upon the cache during an excavation mission in 2013-14.
"The sample was accurately collected in order to avoid any kind of contamination". "For this reason we can say that it is the oldest solid cheese ever found to date".