As shocking as the title suggests, scientists have uncovered large traces of cocaine and nicotine in the mummified body of Henut – Taui, the Lady of Two Lands. What does this mean when the very place where these drugs come from is thousands of miles away, and the introduction of which won’t be seen for thousands of years?
When Henut-Taui’s sarcophogus was undisturbed from her burial during the 21st Dynasty until the early 19th century, when her tomb was plundered and her coffin sold and put on display without being opened. In 1992, Dr. Svelta Balabanova, a German toxicologist, wanted to test the drug content of the mummies on display in a museum in Munich, and what she discovered baffled Egyptologists and scientists alike. Using the drug test we all dread, the hair shaft test, she discovered that there was no compromise to the evidence as many had suggested; there was, in fact, residual amounts of cocaine and nicotine in hers and six others mummified bodies.
Hoax? False mummies? Extinct plants? Trans-continental trade established before Colombus discovered the Americas? Watch and find out!