Slaves to shwarma

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Sphinx_Armachis,_Caire'_(The_Sphinx_Armachis,_Cairo)This story is six months early, but who could resist it?

Researchers at the University of Michigan have been trying to figure out what the workers who built the pyramids ate. The answer was not matzah. It was “meat. Lots and lots of meat. Often with a side of meat,” according to LSA Today.


The research team reached its conclusion after examining 175,000 animal bones and fragments at the site of the Giza pyramid — “mostly cattle, sheep, and goats, with a smaller number of pig bones.”

Lead researcher Richard Redding envisioned “drives of sheep, goats, and cattle from the Nile Delta, along the edge of the high desert, to move the required animals to Giza,” where there was a workers town “1,300 feet south of the Sphinx.”

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“We’re trying to humanize the pyramids, to put people there, by finding out where the workers lived and how they lived,” Redding said.

Jews take this kind of thing personally. And it’s easy to imagine our ancestors out there, doing sweat labor and munching on shish kabob. At the same time, the Torah doesn’t mention the Hebrews building the pyramids, rather the storage cities of Pithom and Rameses, a later construction project.  (Exodus 1:11)


But this doesn’t mean our ancestors didn’t get shwarma like the work crew at Giza. They were probably slaves, too. And even if the Israelites had a meatier diet than the scriptures reveal, it doesn’t reduce the crime of slavery imposed on them. I’d say things still worked out for the best.

Still, this discovery brings a whole new meaning to the term ”food pyramid.”

[email protected] Twitter: @davidholzel

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