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Archaeologists find 5,000-year-old tavern with food remains in Iraq


Eating out seems to have been as popular 5,000 years ago as it is today after the impressive discovery in Iraq of an ancient tavern dating to 2,700 BC. c.

Credit: Lagash Archeology Project

(CNN) --

Eating out appears to have been as popular 5,000 years ago as it is today after the stunning discovery in Iraq of an ancient tavern dating to 2,700 B.C.


Researchers working in the ancient city of Lagash discovered that the tavern, hidden just 48 centimeters below the surface, was divided into an open-air dining room and a room containing benches, an oven, remains of ancient food, and even a 5,000 year old fridge.

They were initially found in the open courtyard space, an area that was difficult to excavate as it was "open and exposed to the outdoors," Reed Goodman, an archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania, told CNN.

After returning to the mysterious courtyard a few months later, in the fall of 2022, field director Sara Pizzimenti of the University of Pisa widened the trench.

The team then discovered the industrial-sized oven, a former moisture-absorbing "refrigerator" to keep food cool, and dozens of conical bowls, many containing fish remains, revealing that the patio's purpose is a outdoor dining.

An international team of researchers plans the next steps at Lagash.

Credit: Lagash Archaeological Project

"I think the first feature that showed up was this very large oven and it's really beautiful," Goodman said.

"From various burning episodes and ash deposits, it left a kind of rainbow coloration on the floors and the interior is framed by these big bricks."


Lagash, now the city of al-Hiba, was one of the oldest and largest cities in southern Mesopotamia, occupied from the 5th to the mid-2nd millennium BC and covering an area of ​​just over five square kilometers.

It has since become a major archaeological site, with excavations most recently restarted in 2019 as part of a joint project between the Penn Museum, the University of Cambridge, and the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in Baghdad, using new techniques. such as drone photography and genetic analysis.

Using state-of-the-art technology, archaeologists can "see" underground and only dig when necessary.

Credit: Lagash Archaeological Project

Earlier excavations focused on religious architecture and elite understanding, but Holly Pittman, director of the Lagash Archaeological Project and curator of the Penn Museum's Near East section, focused on non-elitist areas during these latest excavations to provide insight. broader understanding of ancient cities.

Discovering a tavern supports Pittman and his team's view that society was not organized around elites and enslaved people alone, the earlier prevailing view, but included an ancient middle class.

"Just because you have a public gathering place where people can sit and have a pint and eat their fish stew, they're not working under the tyranny of kings," Goodman said.

"Right there, there's already something that's giving us a much more colorful history of the city."


Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-02-02

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