Did ancient Egyptians trade nicotine and cocaine with the New World?
Imagine the perfectly mummified Egyptian princess and priestess, Henut Taui, “The Lady of the Two Lands.” She was beautiful, powerful and gently alluring.
Imagine you’re thrust back in time and immediately invited to her palace to enjoy the most luxuriating experiences of the day.
As you sit near her throne, you’re showered with new delights and substances, the likes of which you never imagined you might find in Ancient Egypt, like cocaine and tobacco…
While this fantasy defies the narrative of mainstream Egyptology, there’s evidence it actually could have happened.
That’s because Henut Taui and the controversial “cocaine mummies” revealed a vast global trade network that linked the new world with Ancient Egypt.
During a study of the mummy of an ancient elite Egyptian – nicotine, and cocaine – Dr. Svetla Balabanowa found it shocking.
Soon the question came up: What did Lady Henut Taui have access to elements from the tobacco and coca plants about 3,000 years ago?
The interesting thing is that these plants only grew in the Americas at the time – not until the 19th century, they were shipped across the Atlantic.
The confusion led researchers to wonder if the mummy was fake or the tests were contaminated. However, a thorough analysis of the results shows that they were authentic. Does this mean the ancient Egyptians had reached the Americas?
Archaeological findings show that Egyptians were adept at navigating the seas. For example, Queen Hatshepsut is known to have funded an expedition to the mysterious Land of Punt around 1477 BC.
A relief depicting the journey has been found at Deir el-Bahri (in modern-day Luxor). That mural shows large ships packed with men, gold, trees, and exotic animals.
The flora and fauna shown in the artwork are thought to have existed along the coasts of African and the Arabian Peninsula. These findings show that the ancient Egyptians could complete some longer oceanic voyages.
A 2011 discovery made on the Red Sea coast, furthered the belief in the seafaring capacity of the ancient Egyptians.
An archaeologist working in a dried-up lagoon came across the ruins of an ancient harbor. Timber, rigging, reed mats, steering oars, cedar planks, and limestone anchors were all unearthed.
Possible evidence of an unproven Egyptian voyage to the Americas has been found in the Marble Region of the Grand Canyon.
The Arizona Gazette reported on April 5, 1909, that two explorers funded by the Smithsonian found various Egyptian artifacts, including tablets with hieroglyphics, inside caves.
The problem is the Smithsonian has no known records of the discovery.
That find would provide strong evidence to support the belief ancient Egyptians reached the Americas – though it may also be considered inconvenient by some groups to go against the story of the ‘discovery’ of the Americas, as it could drastically alter perceptions of events and the celebration of traditions such as Columbus Day.