The Mystery of the “Cocaine Mummies”

In the beginning of the nineties, the Egyptian Museum in Munich initiated a research project to find out whether the ancient Egyptians had consumed the Lotus flower because of its psychedelic properties, a theory triggered by the many decorative Lotus flowers in many temples. Dr Svetla Balabanova, a renowned toxicologist of the Forensic Medicine Institute in Ulm (Germany), examined the nine mummies on request of the museum and found that, instead of Lotus flower remains, an abundance of nicotine and cocaine was present Such drugs come from the tobacco and coca plants respectively, plants that existed only in the Americas and were unknown before Columbus went to America. To be sure, she requested that 3 other laboratories repeated the test and all came up with the same results. Even though these techniques are used in criminal lawsuits the world over and are 100% accurate, the scientific world, headed by the Oxford University, reacted furiously and denied the outcomes since it implicates that there was contact between Egypt and the Americas before Columbus, which is regarded as absolutely impossible.

Nicotine had previously been discovered, however, in mummified remains in 1976, when the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses II was brought to the Museum of Mankind in Paris. But this was ‘forgotten’ as it is seen as unfavorable by Egyptologists.

Detailed outline of this mystery is now available in the new book “The Mystery of the Cocaine Mummies”.