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The last dinner of King Midas

After the excavations in the 1950s of the Midas Mound in Gordion where a lot of eating and drinking vessels were discovered, archaeologists and scientists of the Museum University of Pennsylvania found out what ate the Phrygians at the funerary meal of King Midas : they analyzed chemically the remains left in the bowls and reconstructed the whole meal.

 

“This marks the first partial reconstruction of an ancient feast based on molecular archaeology, rather than historical records or literature”, says Patrick E. McGovern, senior research scientist at the museum's Applied Science Center for Archaeology. It is true that this new technology offers a other view on Ancient History.

 

Diner menu as reconstructed by the ‘left-overs’

Main course : A stew made of lentils, meat (sheep or goat) marinated and barbecued and flavoring herbs. 

Drink : a sort of beer made of thyme honey and yellow muscat grapes, with barley malt and saffron. This kind of beer fits perfectly with the very special type of Phrygian drinking vessel, the long-sieved jug.

 

Short bibliography :

MacGovern, P.E., Glusker, D.L., Moreau, R.A., Nuez, A., Beck, C.W., Simpson, E., Butrym, E.D., Exner, L.J., Stout, E.C., “A Funerary Feast Fit for King Midas” Nature 1999, 402 (23 décembre), p.863-64.

 

Link towards the Museum University :

http://www.museum.upenn.edu/Midas/intro.html

 

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