In the 21st dynasty of the Pharaos, 3,000 years ago, there took place one night at a temple, the funeral of Henut Taui - the Lady of the Two lands.
Compared to the great rulers of Egypt, her burial was a modest affair. But just like the Pharaos, she too was mummified, and her body placed in the depths of a desert tomb, in the belief it would give her immortality.
In an unexpected way, it has. Her mummified body waited throughout recorded history - the Greeks and Romans, the Dark and Middle ages, the Renaissance and Napoleon, until in the early 19th century, her tomb was plundered.
The king of Bavaria bought the ornate sarcophagus with the mummy inside. He gave it to a museum in Munich, where for another century, Henut Taui lay undisturbed.
Then in 1992 a German scientist, Dr Svetla Balabanova, made a discovery which was to baffle Egyptologists, and call into question whole areas of science and archeology to chemistry and botany.
She discovered that the body of Henut Taui contained large quantities of cocaine and nicotine. The surprise was not just that the ancient Egyptians had taken drugs, but that these drugs come from tobacco and coca, plants completly unknown outside the Americas, unheard of until Sir Walter Raleigh introduced smoking from the New World, or until cocaine was imported in the Victorian era.
It was seemingly impossible for the ancient Egyptians to get hold of these substances. And so began the mystery -
The mystery of the cocaine mummies.
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