During a recent dig in Buckinghamshire, an archeologist recently let off the world’s oldest (and possibly smelliest?) stink bomb after cracking open a 1,700 year old Roman egg.
Located next to the ancient Roman settlement of Fleet Marsdon, experts have been working on a nine-year-long excavation on the Barryfield housing estate near Aylesbury.
An outstanding number of items have been discovered during the dig, including a set of four perfectly preserved and very fragile bird eggs that date back to the third century — which makes them some of the oldest eggs in existence.
But upon retrieval, three of the four eggs were broken which resulted in a “potent stench of rotten egg,” according to bystanders.
The last egg is only complete object of its kind discovered in the UK and is likely and was most likely preserved as a result of being placed in a waterlogged pit.
Edward Biddulph, archeologist, revealed the extent and range of discoveries was “more than ever could be foreseen.”
A senior project manager with Oxford Archaeology South, Biddulph, explained how people in the Third Century used to throw objects into the pit for good luck, “much like a wishing well,” which explained the high number of preserved items discovered in the pit.
“The pit was still waterlogged and this has preserved a remarkable collection of organic objects.”
In Roman times, eggs symbolized both fertility as well as rebirth.
The team behind the discovery believe that the eggs along with the basket may have been placed in the pit as food offerings in a religious ceremony.