Ancient Roman Eggs Discovered In Perfect Condition At The Bottom Of A Pit
Archaeologists were busy excavating an ancient settlement in England called Berryfields when they came across four ancient chicken eggs that were nearly 1,700 years old! According to HealthLine, eggs are considered a perishable item and should be kept in a refrigerator to stop them from going bad. An egg can remain eatable for five weeks if refrigerated and about three weeks if kept at room temperature. So how is it that the four ancient chicken eggs were intact for nearly 1,700 years?! We’ll get to that in a bit! Today Berryfields is known as Aylesbury, a popular development zone that will see the construction of over 5,000 new houses which will all be ready-to-move by 2021.
The Oxford Archaeology team requested that they be allowed to dig and excavate the area before the massive construction project begins. The team was looking forward to excavating the area because a long time ago, Berryfields connected the town of Cirencester to London, so naturally, there was a lot of history waiting to be discovered. The excavation dig, which began in 2007 and completed in 2016, proved extremely successful for archaeologists as they discovered the remains of the age-old civilization who lived in a small town called Fleet Marston, located approximately 1.8 miles from Berryfields.
Not only did the archaeologists find a Roman settlement, a medieval settlement, and Tudor gardens, they also found a massive waterlogged pit that experts assume was used as a sump or a tank by people at that time. According to archaeologists, the pit served as a village resource, but by the third century, it was probably used as a wishing well since they excavated over 40 coins from it. While excavating the coins, archaeologists came across four chicken eggs, of which three were completely intact, sitting underground for over 1,700 years. Some experts believe that the pit was used as a way to offer gifts to gods and that would explain why they found ancient chicken eggs and a bread basket, among other things, at the bottom of the pit.
According to archaeologist Edward Biddulph, people may have treated the pit as a way to offer gifts and sacrifices to the Roman gods so their wishes can be fulfilled. But why eggs? Biddulph said that Romans correlated eggs with rebirth and fertility, and so anytime there was a funeral people would probably cast eggs into the pit in the hopes of rebirth. Having said that, the archaeologists had a challenge laid out for them – to excavate every delicate item from the pit, including three fragile eggs, without damaging them any further. However, no matter how careful they were, two of the three eggs cracked open and filled the air with a rotten stench.
Nevertheless, the team took everything to their headquarters and stored all the eggs in a box of acid-free tissue paper. The egg that stood the test of time and the test of excavation will be displayed at the Buckinghamshire County Museum.
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