Israel discovers cooked ostrich eggs dating back to more than 4,000 years ago
Israeli archaeologists have found eight prehistoric ostrich eggs that date back more than 4,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said on Thursday.
The eggs were found next to an ancient fire pit at a prehistoric nomads' campsite in a sand dune area of the southern Negev desert, the IAA noted.
One of the eggs was found right inside the pit, indicating that they were used as food at the site.
The researchers estimated that these are the first archaeological signs of cooking eggs at that time.
Such sites are quickly covered by dunes, and exposed with the movement of the sands over hundreds and thousands of years, allowing for the exceptional preservation of the eggs, the IAA said.
The location of the eggs and their proximity to each other indicates that they were intentionally collected rather than found by accident, according to the researchers.
Alongside the eggs, the team found burnt stones, flint, and stone tools, as well as pottery sherds, all probably left there by nomads.
They explained that in ancient times, ostrich eggs were used in burial and worship ceremonies, and were also for decoration, as water canteens, and naturally as food, with one ostrich egg equal in nutritional value to about 25 normal chicken eggs.
In most ostrich egg discoveries, the bird bones were not found, indicating that ancient people preferred not to confront the ostrich, and were content with just collecting the eggs, they noted.