Archaeologists find an intact 1,000-year-old egg – then accidentally smash it.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS in Israel discovered a full 1,000-year-old chicken egg, only to have it break apart in their hands.
The “amazing discovery” was uncovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) during excavations in Yavne, in Israel’s Central District. When an unexpected artefact fell into archaeologists’ laps when they were inspecting an Islamic period cesspit. Although egg shells from earlier ages have been unearthed in the past, the IAA claims that no intact chicken egg has ever been discovered.
“Eggshell fragments are known from earlier eras, for example in the City of David and at Caesarea and Apollonia, but due to the eggs’ delicate shells, scarcely any full chicken eggs have been preserved,” said Dr Lee Perry Gal, an IAA archaeologist and expert in the world of ancient poultry.
“Even on a worldwide scale, this is a really rare find.
“Ostrich eggs, whose thicker shells maintain them intact, are occasionally discovered in ancient digs.”
A little fracture in the bottom of the egg was discovered, which leaked most of the contents save for some of the yolk.
The sanitary circumstances in the cesspit, said to Alla Nagorsky, field supervisor at the Yavne excavation, undoubtedly let the egg stay in such fine health for so long.
“Eggs rarely live for long in supermarket cartons,” the expert stated.
“It’s incredible to believe that this is a 1,000-year-old discovery.
“The egg’s exceptional preservation is clearly owing to the conditions in which it lay for generations, nestled in a cesspit filled with soft human feces that preserved it.”
The egg was treated with care, but the shell fractured when it was retrieved from the cesspit, despite the specialists’ best efforts.
The egg was then put back together by conservationist Ilan Naor at the IAA’s organics laboratory in a game of Humpty Dumpty.
Fortunately, the egg has been returned to its previous splendour, and it can now be tested.
DNA study of the IAA’s preserved yolk is of great interest to its researchers.
“How did the egg wind up in the cesspit?” the IAA asked on Facebook. We’ll never know for sure.
“Other fascinating artifacts were retrieved from the same trench as the egg, including three classic Islamic-period bone dolls used as playthings 1,000 years ago.”
Poultry farming, according to the IAA, was. “Brinkwire Summary News.”