The researchers dated seeds found in pharaohs’ tombs, including some from the tomb of the King Tutankhamun.
They write in the journal Science that some of the samples are more than 4,500 years old.
Radiocarbon dating of ancient Egyptian objects is nothing new.
But this time, the scientists say, they were able to use a very precise statistical technique to actually verify the Egyptian history.
“The very first dating done with radiocarbon was dating Egyptian material of known dates, to check that [the method] worked,” said Andrew Shortland from Cranfield University in the UK.
“Now, for the very first time, [we] managed to get radiocarbon techniques so good, that we can do it completely the opposite way around. We can say, from using radiocarbon, whether the Egyptian history is correct or not.
“Previously radiocarbon hasn’t had a voice on this because the errors had been so great. Now radiocarbon is able to distinguish between different ideas of reconstructing the history.”