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Scientists discovered an unbroken chicken egg, estimated to be 1,700 years old, which is believed to be the only one of its kind in existence. This unique egg was found to still contain liquid inside.
Researchers unearthed this one-of-a-kind discovery during a 2007-2016 excavation in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
While excavating, archaeologists accidentally cracked open three eggs, causing a strong odor. However, a fourth egg was left unharmed.
Oxford Archaeology experts believe that the pit, which was filled with water, may have functioned as a type of Roman wishing well.
A recent micro scan has determined that the egg still contained both the yolk and egg white and is thought to be the only complete egg from that time period.
Edward Biddulph, the senior project manager at Oxford Archaeology who supervised the dig, was amazed by the discoveries found within. He had anticipated that the contents might have deteriorated over time.
Recently, conservator Dana Goodburn-Brown conducted research on the egg at the University of Kent.
Mr. Biddulph stated that the image was astonishing as it showed that the egg was not only still whole, which is already remarkable, but also contained liquid inside, likely from the yolk and albumen.
The egg was brought to the Natural History Museum in London, where Douglas Russell, the senior curator of the collection of birds, eggs, and nests, was asked for advice on preserving the egg and extracting its contents.
During our visit to the Natural History Museum, Mr. Biddulph stated that it appears to be the oldest known example in the world.
The archaeologist confessed that it was intimidating to walk around London carrying a 2,000-year-old egg.
“It was a bit nerve-wracking on the subway, even though it was safely secured. It wasn’t as if I had it casually stowed in my pocket.”
The egg is currently being kept at Discover Bucks Museum in Aylesbury as efforts are ongoing to find a way to remove the contents without damaging the fragile shell.
Mr. Biddulph stated that there is a significant opportunity for additional scientific exploration and this marks the next phase in the development of this extraordinary egg.