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Thousand-Year-Old Chicken Egg Found Preserved By Human Poo

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Thousand-Year-Old Chicken Egg Found Preserved By Human Poo

Archaeologists have found a 1,000-year-old chicken perfectly preserved in poop inside a cesspit.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced the find, which was made during a dig in the town of Yavne.

Archaeologists have been in the area ahead of its development and discovered an Islamic-era cesspit on a site that dates back to the Byzantine Period between the fourth and seventh centuries.

Credit: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash
Credit: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash
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Inside the cesspit, archaeologists found a chicken egg surrounded by human poo, which acted to preserve it.

Experts have said the 'perfectly preserved' egg is a rare find - explaining that ancient ostrich eggs are sometimes found intact, due to the fact they have thicker shells, but to find a chicken egg this old is very unusual.

The egg has a small crack in it, meaning some of the white part has leaked out, but, incredibly, part of the yolk is still present and authorities have managed to extract and preserve it for further tests.

It's all getting a bit Jurassic Park this, isn't it?

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Archaeologists say they're not sure how the egg managed to end up in the cesspit, where they also found three bone dolls that date back an estimated 1,000 years.

Credit: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash
Credit: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash

The first evidence of chicken farming in the area was found at the Hellenistic site of Maresha, which dates back around 2,300 years.

Chickens from back then were smaller than the ones we see today.

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According to Israeli law, all new developments must be preceded by an archaeological dig to salvage any items of historical value, which was why the archaeologists were on the scene.

And if ancient artifacts are your sort of thing, then you may be interested to know that a museum in York is home to the longest human poop on record that dates all the way back to the 9th century.

Visitors to JORVIK Viking Centre in York can feast their eyes on the 20cm-long poo, which was first discovered back in the 1970s during a dig in the area.

Gill Snape, a student conservator on a placement with the York Archaeological Trust, said: "Whoever passed it probably hadn't performed for a few days, shall we say. This guy had very itchy bowels."

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Credit: Linda Spashett (Creative Commons)
Credit: Linda Spashett (Creative Commons)

They reckon he was a Viking because York was formally a Viking settlement back in the 800s and was called Jórvík.

In 1991, York Archaeological Trust employee and paleoscatologist, Dr Andrew Jones, said: "This is the most exciting piece of excrement I've ever seen. In its own way, it's as irreplaceable as the Crown Jewels."

Fair enough, pal.

Featured Image Credit: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash

Topics: World News, Interesting

Claire Reid
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