(fl. 1st. Cent. BCE/CE) CHEMICAL ENGINEER OR ALCHEMIST? THE PROOF MAY BE IN THE PUDDING, BUT THIS 'SISTER OF MOSES' HAS A LIFE STORY AS SHROUDED IN MIST AS THE KITCHEN DEVICE NAMED FOR HER.
'Alchemy', it calls to mind a mystic in a wizard's robe distilling gold from dross. But ancient alchemy was the equivalent of modern chemical engineering, and alchemists expanded the frontiers of science. Alchemist Maria the Jewess is thought to have lived in Egypt between the first and third centuries A.D. Founding mother of Egyptian and Hellenistic alchemy, she was also honored as 'Maria the Prophetissa' and a 'Sister of Moses'.