I am, therefore, sticking with our belief that, over the great sweeping narrative of history, cancer must have been extremely rare in the ancient world compared with today.
It should also be said that the ancient Egyptians, like the Romans and Greeks, had extremely good levels of hygiene, achieved through good water supplies, sewage and bathing facilities.
There was, as far as we know, little of the squalor and stench that we associate, say, with the East End of London in the Victorian era or the poverty-stricken slums of some burgeoning cities in the developing world.
My colleague Professor Zimmerman conducted experiments using cutting-edge scanners to see how well cancer tumours are preserved in mummified tissue.
His tests found the process of mummification actually preserves such tumours very well.
Most of the population undertook exercise doing manual labour, working in agriculture, construction or crafts.