Three-thousand-year-old Mummy was twenty-first century American


A few weeks ago the San Diego Union Tribune ran a story about Egyptian mummies. Or more specifically, a certain Egyptian mummy, Merenptah, who the UT says lived 3,200 years ago. What’s interesting about him is that autopsies show that Merenptah suffered from atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. According to the article, this ailment was supposed to be a “modern affliction resulting from unhealthy lifestyles with risk factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, stress and a rich, fatty diet.” Atherosclerosis leads to heart disease, the leading cause of death here in the U.S.A. But this new finding shows that it isn’t, as we had assumed, exclusively a consequence of the modern American way of life. It’s been around for thousands of years, leading Dr. Michael Miyamoto of UCSD to exclaim, “And now it turns out atherosclerosis is older than Moses!”

What’s the moral of the story? For me, it means that while it’s prudent to be conscience of your health and to make reasonable choices, it’s nutty to be a health nut. You can’t cheat death! We thought you could avoid hardening arteries by avoiding McDonald’s? Tell that to Merenptah. So live a little. I’ve got good news: your arteries are going to harden anyway! Might as well enjoy a rich, fatty diet before they do.


One thought on “Three-thousand-year-old Mummy was twenty-first century American

  1. Kate says:

    Meanwhile, please don't die of heart disease in your thirties. That would make me very, very sad.Very.

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