The Egyptian Mummies With South American Cocaine & Nicotine

Cocaine Mummy

Pictures: Courtesy of Dr. Dominique Goerlitz, who strictly continued Dr. Balabanova´s work by his own investigations to cocaine and tobacco in Egyptian mummies:

Description: In 1976 traces of cocaine and tobacco, plants only to have existed in the Americas prior to Columbus, was found in some Egyptian mummies and has led some to speculate that Ancient Egyptians may have traveled to the New World.

Mainstream Theory: Mainstream scholars remain skeptical, and do not see this as proof of ancient contact between Africa and the Americas, especially as there may be possible Old World sources or the mummies have been contaminated during transport or examination.

Svetlana BalabanovaAlternative Theory: The initial discovery was made by a German toxicologist, Svetlana Balabanova, after examining the mummy of a female priestess called Henut Taui. Follow-up tests of the hair shaft, performed to rule out contamination, gave the same results.

If Balabanova was surprised by the results of her tests she was even more surprised at the vitriolic response to her publication. She received a flood of letters threatening, insulting and accusing her of fraud. When she reminded her critics that she was simply applying the very same techniques that she had used for years in police work where her results were considered “proof positive” her critics didn’t seem to care. She was condemned as a “fraud.”

dRrOSALIEdAVIDDr. Rosalie David, Keeper of Egyptology, Manchester Museum took up the challenge of investigating the “cocaine mummies” which she thought “seemed quite impossible.” She began by sending tissue and hair samples from her museum out to labs. She was working on the dual assumption that one of two things are true: 1. Balabanova’s tests were compromised; or 2. The mummy was not truly ancient” (i.e. it was fake). Dr. David flew to Munich to review the techniques and excavation records to see if the body, which had originally been purchased by King Ludwig I of Bavaria was genuine or not.

Dr. Alfred Grimm, the Curator of The Egyptian Museum in Munich said that “the Munich mummies are real Egyptian mummies. No fakes. No modern mummies. They came from ancient Egypt.” After spending days pouring over the documentation associated with the “cocaine mummy” Dr. David relented saying: “it seems evident that they are probably genuine…”


When she returned to Manchester she discovered that her own Museum’s mummies had traces of tobacco. Dr. David said: “I’m really very surprised at this.”

Dr. Balabanova’s work had been validated by the test results from Manchester but she was now hooked on the problem and began collecting samples of naturally preserved bodies housed in museums all around Europe. She obtained 134 separate bodies taken from ancient Sudan dating to a time long before Columbus or the Vikings. One third of these bodies contained both nicotine and cocaine.

The exciting realisation that there was certainly contact between ancient Peru and ancient Egypt has now been established. The cocaine mummies from Egypt and Sudan have changed the rules of this controversial game. There is no longer a warrant to exclude the hypothesis of transoceanic trade in ancient times.


6 thoughts on “The Egyptian Mummies With South American Cocaine & Nicotine”

  1. Hello Editors,

    My name is Dr. Dominique Goerlitz. I saw in your article that you have used my picture with Dr. Svetlana Balabanova and me without any referencing of the source.

    Therefore, I would like to ask you to add my website ( as well as my name.

    I also want to inform you that I have strickly continued Dr. Balabanova´s work by my own investigations to cocaine and tobacco in Egyptian mummies:

    I hope you can take into consideration my announcement.

    All best wishes

    Dr. Dominique Görlitz


    1. Thank you Dr. Goerlitz, for your comment. I have added your details and website. I will check it as soon as I have a chance. Kind regards,


  2. To be far, both nicotine and cocaine compounds occur in plants located outside of South America, all be it in very small amounts. I was lead to believe that the nicotine was found in the tissues and not just the hair, contradicting the contamination theory. Either way, this keeps archeology and conventional wisdom honest and fluid.


    1. Thanks Ricky. Are you talking about today? Or 5000 years ago? Regardless, the point is cross Atlantic and cross Pacific contacts, not just with the Americas but also with Australia. Both are denied by “official” (qu)academia. But there is a preponderance of archaeological finds that prove the point. But you can’t fight city hall. Ha! And while there is still freedom of press and speech on the internet, we need to get the truth out now, not our doubts. Check our articles on it all, like China discovered “America” or Fu Sang, and Jomon pottery in Valdivia Ecuador.


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