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1,700-year-old ancient egg was spotted still preserving liquid yolk

Monday, 19/02/2024, 11:52 (GMT+7)

An ancient Roman egg has left scientists baffled after perfectly preserving liquid for 1,700 years and it is the only intact egg from that time ever excavated.

A remarkable archaeological discovery in England has astounded researchers and sparked intrigue worldwide.

The 1,700-year-old ancient Roman egg was found during excavations in Buckinghamshire and was spotted still containing liquid yolk. 

This rare discovery offers a fascinating glimpse into the past that encouraged archaeologists eager to unravel its secrets.

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An ancient Roman egg was found during excavations at Berryfields in Buckinghamshire. Image Credit: Facebook/Oxford Archaeology

A 1,700-year-old ancient Roman egg found during excavations in Buckinghamshire still contains liquid yolk. 

The egg was discovered at a site known as Berryfields during excavations that took place between 2007 and 2016.

The team of archaeologists discovered a large waterlogged pit dating back to Britain's Roman period (A.D. 270 and A.D. 300), which contained various things such as pottery vessels, coins, leather shoes, and a woven basket. 

Among these discoveries, the intact egg stood out as a unique and exciting find.

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The egg left people stunned after being spotted still containing liquid yolk. Image Credit: Getty

Archaeologists emphasize that this is a unique discovery as the ancient egg remained intact for 1,700 years and preserved the liquid inside it.

The egg is said to have been laid by a chicken

The team later carefully retrieved the egg and took it to the University of Kent for analysis.

Micro-CT scanning revealed that the egg still contained liquid, believed to be the remains of the yolk and white. 

This is a significant finding because intact Roman-period eggs are extremely rare, with only shell fragments typically found in Britain.

In addition, archaeologists also revealed that the egg was most likely laid by a chicken. However, two other eggs found alongside the intact one broke when exposed to air, releasing a sulfurous liquid. 

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The 1,700-year-old ancient egg was said to have been laid by a chicken. Image Credit: Facebook/Oxford Archaeology

Douglas Russell and Arianna Bernucci, experts in birds' eggs and nests, expressed their excitement at encountering such a unique specimen for the first time.

The egg is still intact thanks to its burying conditions

The egg's preservation can be attributed to the conditions in which it was buried. 

The pit was originally used for water extraction, creating anaerobic conditions that inhibited bacterial decay. 

The eggs, along with other organic objects like the woven basket, were likely deposited as part of a ritual or funerary ceremony. 

A researcher shares discoveries about ancient birds, often only bird bone samples or a few pieces of eggshells remain for research.

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The egg is considered an 'extremely rare' find as most archaeologists only find bird bones or pieces of eggshell instead of an intact egg. Image credit: University of Kent

However, the discovery of an intact egg that still contained liquid inside for 1,700 years has opened up further opportunities for research into ancient birds and their surprising preservation conditions.

The problem that needs to be solved now is to find out which species laid this egg

Archaeologists are currently actively studying the egg to find the whereabouts of the species that laid this ancient egg.

Finding their mother could provide useful information about a new species of bird.

In the early stages of research, scientists suggested that the egg could have been laid by birds and chickens during the Roman era.