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Roman-Era Eggs and Bread Basket Recovered from Watery Pit

Monday, December 9, 2019

England Roman EggBUCKINGHAMSHIRE, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that four hen’s eggs and other items were recovered from a watery pit in central England by a team of researchers led by archaeologist Edward Biddulph of Oxford Archaeology. All but one of the extremely fragile eggs, which are often associated with fertility, rebirth, and the gods Mithras and Mercury, broke during the excavation, releasing a potent rotten egg stench, Biddulph explained. Other rare organic materials, believed to have been tossed into the pit in the late third century A.D., include leather shoes, wooden tools, and a basketry tray made of woven oak bands and willow rods. Biddulph suggested that bread placed on the tray and the eggs may have been cast into the pit as an offering during a funeral procession. To read about 2,500-year-old eggs recovered from a Chinese tomb, go to "Picnic for the Afterlife."

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