Archaeologists Found a 1,700-Year-Old Chicken Egg That Still Has Liquid Inside

Photo by Pixabay

In a groundbreaking archaeological revelation, scientists have found an intact chicken egg laid in Roman Britain approximately 1,700 years ago, still containing liquid within its shell. This extraordinary discovery not only challenges our understanding of ancient preservation but also offers unprecedented insights into the daily lives of people from those times.

The Egg

Unearthed during a 2010 excavation in Aylesbury, England, alongside an array of artifacts including pottery vessels, leather shoes, and animal remains, the egg was found. Among the four eggs discovered, only one remained unscathed and still retained its liquid contents over the centuries. Researchers at the University of Kent employed state-of-the-art micro-CT scanning technology to look inside the egg. The resulting 3D images unveiled a breathtaking millennia-old mixture of yolk and albumen, perfectly preserved within the fragile shell. While older eggs with preserved contents exist, none are as old and in such good condition as this one.

What This Means

Senior curator of birds’ eggs and nests at London’s Natural History Museum, Douglas G.D. Russel stated, “This is the oldest unintentionally preserved avian egg I have ever seen. That makes it fascinating.” He went on to say, “Going forward, it will be very exciting to see if we can use any of the modern imaging and analysis techniques here at the NHM to shed further light on exactly which species laid the egg and its potential archaeological significance.”

Photo by kendra coupland

Senior project manager at Oxford Archaeology, Edward Biddulph, echoed, “We might have expected it to have leached out over the centuries, but it is still there. It is absolutely incredible.” He added, “There is huge potential for scientific research.”