Archaeologists have unearthed a remarkable discovery in southern Iraq – a fridge that is around 5,000 years old! And to top it off, they found some food along with it! Can you imagine keeping your leftovers fresh for 5,000 years? That’s some impressive refrigeration technology!
The US-Italian team responsible for this amazing discovery found the remains of a tavern in the ancient Lagash ruins, and it’s giving us a glimpse into everyday life in the world’s first cities. The courtyard where people dined was equipped with benches, an oven, and hundreds of vessels ready to serve food, along with a moisture-wick structure that functioned as a primitive fridge. It seems that people 5,000 years ago were just as interested in keeping their food fresh as we are today!
Holly Pittman, the project director, was very excited about the discovery. She said, “What we understand this thing to be is a place where people could come to eat and that is not domestic. We call it a tavern because beer is by far the most common drink, even more than water, for the Sumerians.” It’s clear that the Sumerians loved their beer, and it’s interesting to note that in one of the temples excavated in the area, a beer recipe was found on a cuneiform tablet. Talk about an ancient brewing industry!
In addition to the fridge and the beer recipe, archaeologists found conical bowls that contained the remnants of fish. It’s fascinating to see what kind of food people were eating thousands of years ago. The excavations at the site 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, and they’ve been using modern techniques like drone photography and genetic analysis to gather more data about the Sumerian civilization.
All in all, this discovery is a fantastic opportunity for archaeologists to learn more about the world’s earliest cities and the people who lived in them. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll be able to revive that 5,000-year-old beer recipe and enjoy a pint of history!