ALBANY, N.Y. — The latest in a series of tests on an ancient Egyptian tablet found in a New York landfill is suggesting the material may have been used as an antidote to an ancient form of the coronavirus, a report said.
The finding of an ancient formula for an Egyptian drug that contains aluminum is significant, according to an analysis of the tablets, which were recovered in 2013 by New York City landfill officials.
A team from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center examined the tablets from the New York state landfill.
The researchers were able to identify the ingredient in the tablet as aluminum oxide, a form of aluminum that is often used in ancient Chinese medicine.
Aluminum oxide is typically found in the skin and used as a medicine in China, where it is often referred to as “the blue pill” for the color blue.
Aluminum oxide is not commonly used as medicine in the West, but is sometimes used to treat allergies, said the study’s lead author, Eric E. Rousso, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the university’s College of Arts and Sciences.
The tablet has a crudely written, crudely spelled text and appears to have been made in the 3rd Dynasty, according the report.
The tablets were found in September 2013 at a New Orleans landfill owned by New Jersey’s State Energy Authority, the report said, adding that it was unclear what was used in the recipe.
The study, which was presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, was the latest to suggest that ancient tablets of Egyptian origin may have played a role in the discovery of an Ebola drug.
Albany’s Department of Public Health and Environmental Health, which is leading the study, has not responded to requests for comment.
Rousso said the discovery suggests the drug was likely used as part of a plan to kill Ebola patients in an effort to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
Scott Pritchard, a public health researcher who has studied the tablet, said it could help explain the presence of the drug in the body of a person infected with Ebola.
Album of ancient Egyptian formula found at New York State landfill in 2013.
The discovery is significant because the tablet is ancient, Pritich said.
It’s been well-documented that ancient Egyptians were producing and using various kinds of medicines.
But the discovery at this particular site in New York could indicate that some of these ancient medicines may have actually been used to fight Ebola, Pitscher said.
“There are a lot of things that are possible,” Pitsich said, “but we can’t tell right now.”
Rousas said the finding was also surprising, given that the tablets were discovered in 2013 and 2014.
The New York city agency said the tablet was recovered from an old landfill at a site near the corner of Broadway and Seventh Avenues in Manhattan.
The landfill was used for a series to decommission old buildings and to bury waste from New York’s Department Of Public Health, and the site was the last one in use before the boroughs new mayor, Bill de Blasio, took office.
New York City officials said the site contained about 15,000 tons of trash and trash debris.
The city has since moved to demolish the building.
The New York Times reported last week that officials believe the landfill had been abandoned for years.
Pitscher, who led the research with Dr. Michael T. Orenstein of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, said there were a number of other tablets in the landfill, but they are believed to be of the earliest date.
Alaska-based pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb said it has found an ancient tablet of a similar type and the drug, ebola-fighting compound, is being developed by its scientists.
Bristol-Myer said it is not yet sure how the drug works, and its researchers plan to continue testing the drug.
A spokeswoman for Bristol-MYERS said the company is reviewing the results of the study and is waiting to receive the report before making any further comments.