1,000-year-old chicken egg found in Israel

Israeli archaeologists said they have discovered a 1,000-year-old chicken’s egg south of Tel Aviv.

Israeli archaeologists find chicken egg from almost 1,000 years ago. [timesofisrael]

Researchers came across the intact egg during excavation work in an ancient cesspool, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Wednesday.

“Even at the global level, this is an extremely rare find,“ Lee Perry Gal of the Israel Antiquities Authority and a leading expert on poultry in the ancient world said in a statement.

“In archaeological digs, we occasionally find ancient ostrich eggs, whose thicker shells preserve them intact.”

The hen’s egg is protected by the soft human waste in the cesspool; it dates back to the Islamic period.

Excavation director Alla Nagorsky spoke of an amazing find and said, “Even today, eggs rarely survive for long in supermarket cartons.’’

Poultry farming began in Israel about 2,300 years ago, according to the authority.

From the 7th century AD there was a marked decline in pig bones in the region, signaling the ban on eating pork in the Islamic period, it said.

Eggs and chicken meat thus served as a protein substitute, said researcher Gal.

Unfortunately, the egg had a small crack, meaning that most of the liquid had leaked out. Only some of the yolk was still present and had been saved for future DNA analysis, he said.

The excavations took place in the town of Javne.


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