And now, from the archives of our “Department of Too Much Information Life Hacks” … While you may have heard that pickling eggs is a great way to extend their shelf life, did you know that keeping them in the poop can keep them almost flawless for 1,000 years?
Well, in near-flawless archaeological conditions, anyway.
While it is by no means fit for human consumption, a century-old chicken egg in near-pristine condition, or as pristine as an object that has been enclosed in ca-ca for 10 centuries, was recently discovered during an Antiquities Authority of Israel. led the excavation of a cesspool from the Byzantine era in the city of Yavne.
For those unfamiliar, in the past, a cesspool served as your basic outdoor septic tank / garbage container. In addition to human excrement, the cesspools served as a repository for all kinds of waste products.
Along with the aged egg, a trio of bone dolls from the Islamic period were also recovered from the site. (Giving new meaning to the phrase, “Shit!”, We guess).
Archaeologists report that it is not that unusual to find ostrich eggs from this vintage still intact, however, with much thinner shells, digging up (or in the case, digging up) a whole chicken egg from this period is an extremely rare occurrence.
“Even today, eggs rarely survive for long in supermarket checkouts,” said IAA archaeologist Alla Nagorsky. The times of Israel. “It’s amazing to think that this is a 1000-year-old find!”
Since it’s a good bet that, like their modern counterparts, Byzantine chickens likely crossed the street to get to the other side rather than laying their eggs in oversized community urinals, scientists were initially a bit puzzled as to how a whole egg (versus the more common shell fragments) got to settle on the pile of stools in the first place.
But no matter how the little cluck got stuck in the mud, save for a small fracture, the eggshell was structurally sound. “[It] it had a small crack in the bottom, so most of the content had leaked, “Nagorsky said. “Only part of the yolk remained, which was preserved for future DNA analysis.”
Well, better that than an omelette.
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