Egg exposed during excavations of cesspit ahead of neighborhood development project
Archaeologists discovered a fully intact 1,000-year-old chicken egg during recent excavations in the central Israeli city of Yavne, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.
The egg was exposed during excavations of a domestic sewage pit dating back to the Islamic period as part of an Israel Land Authority project to expand the city.
Dr Eli Hadad, Liat Nadav-Ziv and Dr John Seligman are leading the large archeological excavation in Yavne
"Eggshell fragments are also known from earlier periods, for example in the City of David, Caesarea, and Apollonia, but due to the fragile shell of the egg, almost whole chicken eggs have not been preserved," said Dr Lee Perry Gal, an archaeozoologist at the Antiquities Authority and an expert on birds in the ancient world. "Even at a world level, this is a very rare find."
The egg was found nearly empty as a crack at the bottom allowed most of the materials to seep out, according to the Antiquities Authority. The remnants of the yolk were taken to the lab for DNA testing.
The archaeologists said that the egg was preserved for centuries by soft human waste in the cesspit.
They also discovered three bone dolls typical of the Islamic period as well as an industrial area dating from the Byzantine period.