Israel discovers 1,000-year-old intact chicken's egg
JERUSALEM. KAZINFORM - Israeli archaeologists have discovered an intact chicken's egg of roughly 1,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said Wednesday, Xinhua reports.
The egg was found in an excavation site in the central city of Yavne, in a cesspit dating from the Islamic period.
The egg's rare preservation is evidently due to the conditions in which it lay for centuries, nestled in the cesspit containing soft human waste that preserved it, the archaeologists said.
However, the egg had a small crack in the bottom so most of the contents had leaked out and only some of the yolk remained, which was preserved for future DNA analysis.
Poultry farming was introduced into the region 2,300 years ago during the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods.
In the Islamic period from the seventh century onwards, there was a marked decrease in the percentage of pig bones at sites in the region, reflecting the Islamic religion prohibition on eating pork.
«Families needed a ready protein substitute that does not require cooling and preservation, and they found it in eggs and chicken meat,» the archaeologists explained.
In the same pit, the archaeologists also found a three typical Islamic-period bone dolls used as toys.
As part of the large-scale excavations at the site, the team unearthed an extensive and diverse industrial area dating from the Byzantine period of about 1,500 years ago.