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1,700-year-old Roman-age egg still contains its yolk and whites

Published:

NEW DELHI: In an

astonishing discovery

at a Roman site in England, a 1,700-year-old

chicken egg

has been found with its

yolk and egg white

remarkably preserved. This rare find, uncovered in the town of Aylesbury, is thought to be a unique instance of a chicken egg from centuries past still containing its internal contents.
Edward Biddulph, a senior project manager at Oxford Archaeology, expressed amazement at the discovery, saying, “We were absolutely blown away when we saw the contents in there, as we might have expected them to have leached out.”
As per a Live Science report, the egg was among four unearthed during an archaeological dig at a Roman-era location.

While three of the eggs cracked open, emitting a potent smell, one remained intact. This intact egg underwent a microscopic computed tomography (micro-CT) scan at the University of Kent, revealing not only its

unbroken state

but also the presence of liquid inside, likely from the yolk and albumen, along with an air bubble.
These eggs were discovered in a waterlogged pit, which had been used for malting grain and brewing ale before being repurposed as a place for making offerings to the gods for good fortune. The site, rich with organic materials preserved by the anaerobic conditions, offered a glimpse into Roman life, including not just the eggs but also a wooden basket, leather shoes, and various wooden vessels and tools.

The preservation of this egg is unprecedented in Britain, with only one other Roman-era egg, found in the grip of an infant buried near the Vatican and containing no liquids, previously known. Eggs during the Roman era were often associated with fertility and rebirth, symbolizing gods like Mithras and Mercury.
Now housed at a museum in Aylesbury, efforts are underway to extract the egg’s contents without damaging the shell, making it a focal point for both historical and scientific study.

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