Archaeologists accidentally break a rare thousand-year-old egg

A team of archaeologists discovered an egg about a thousand years old during excavations in the city of Yavni, Israel. However, after spending a thousand years intact, the egg experienced a crack during scientists’ analysis and shattered.

Alla Nagorski, the excavation supervisor, said the team was shocked to discover the egg was intact during the search. “Sometimes we find slivers of eggshells, but the whole egg is amazing,” he said.

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), scientists believe that the egg was taken from a chicken that lived in the Islamic period in the region, when pig farming was curtailed. It was in a pit 1.3 meters deep next to other waste, dated between the 7th and 11th centuries, which contributed to its preservation.

“Even today, eggs rarely live long in supermarket cans,” Nargorski said. “It is amazing to think that this is a 1,000-year-old find!”

However, even after the find was carefully removed from the site and taken to the laboratory, the archaeologists inadvertently caused a crack that cracked the egg.

At least, according to Dr. Lee Berry Gale, an archaeologist specializing in bird breeding in the Archaic period, some egg yolks remained in the shell after breaking. With this, scientists will be able to analyze the DNA of the ancient egg.

In an interview with Paris Match, Nargorsky lamented the accidental break, but saw a certain poetic license in it, because at some point the egg would be cracked to study its interior.

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, an expert was called and picked up the pieces of the egg and returned it to “the state in which it was found.”

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