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Judi Lynn

(161,324 posts)
Sun Feb 12, 2023, 09:28 AM Feb 2023

5,000-Year-Old Tavern With Food Still Inside Discovered in Iraq

Archaeologists found benches, an oven and food remnants dating back to 2700 B.C.E.

Sarah Kuta
Daily Correspondent

February 1, 2023

Researchers discovered an ancient tavern at Lagash in southern Iraq. Lagash Archaeological Project

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an ancient tavern that’s nearly 5,000 years old in southern Iraq, the University of Pennsylvania announced last week. The find offers insight into the lives of everyday people who lived in a non-elite urban neighborhood in southwest Asia around 2700 B.C.E.

Inside the public eating space—which included an open-air area and a kitchen—researchers with the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pisa found an oven, a type of clay refrigerator called a zeer, benches and storage containers that still held food. They also found dozens of conical-shaped bowls that contained the remains of fish, reports CNN’s Issy Ronald.

The tavern was discovered at Lagash, a 1,000-acre archaeological site that was a bustling industrial hub with many inhabitants during the Early Dynastic period. Researchers say Lagash was one of the largest and oldest cities in all of southern Mesopotamia.

An aerial view of the Lagash site in southern Iraq Lagash Archaeological Project

“The site was of major political, economic and religious importance,” says Holly Pittman, an archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania and the Lagash project director, in a statement from the university. “However, we also think that Lagash was a significant population center that had ready access to fertile land and people dedicated to intensive craft production.”


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5,000-Year-Old Tavern With Food Still Inside Discovered in Iraq (Original Post) Judi Lynn Feb 2023 OP
Another fascinating post--thank you. Timeflyer Feb 2023 #1
It was a surprise finding it! Thank you, so much, Timeflyer. Judi Lynn Feb 2023 #2
Thank you! Wicked Blue Feb 2023 #3
So, interesting Farmer-Rick Feb 2023 #5
I made one of these when we lost electricity after a hurricane jmbar2 Feb 2023 #7
Thanx! Super interesting. Good knowledge to have judesedit Feb 2023 #8
Amazing. Thank you for sharing. niyad Feb 2023 #4
As always an amazing share jmbar2 Feb 2023 #6
Thank you, Judi Lynn, for another interesting article judesedit Feb 2023 #9
So cool! Jilly_in_VA Feb 2023 #10

Wicked Blue

(5,983 posts)
3. Thank you!
Sun Feb 12, 2023, 11:05 AM
Feb 2023

This is an incredibly interesting post.

The idea of an ancient refrigeration system led me to look up the word zeer.

Here's what I found, including DIY instructions:



(10,567 posts)
5. So, interesting
Sun Feb 12, 2023, 11:48 AM
Feb 2023

Never knew about a zeer.

Here in the very humid south, they just dig a hole to keep things cool underground. There is a thermal house not far from where I live. He just dug and blasted out a hole in the hillside and built his house into the hole. He says he never needs AC but he does have a fireplace for cold days.


(5,485 posts)
7. I made one of these when we lost electricity after a hurricane
Sun Feb 12, 2023, 12:00 PM
Feb 2023

Not sure I'd put highly perishable stuff in it, like raw chicken, but for drinks, milk, cheese, it worked very well. I had forgotten what it was called - thanks for the reminder.


(5,485 posts)
6. As always an amazing share
Sun Feb 12, 2023, 11:56 AM
Feb 2023

There's so much to learn from ancient cultures how to live with much smaller footprints on this earth.

Thank you!


(10,356 posts)
10. So cool!
Sun Feb 12, 2023, 03:03 PM
Feb 2023

The artist-in-residence at our co-op gallery, who I am very fond of, is from Iraq. We chat a lot when the gallery is not busy, wide-ranging conversations that run everywhere from Islam to his time as a marine engineer to stories of his boyhood in Iraq. One time he told me about going on a picnic with his family when he was a boy and when his grandmother was brushing away a spot to lay the picnic cloth she picked up a stone that did not look like a stone. She gave it to Bahir's father who examined it closely and put it in his pocket. Later that week he took it to a jeweler in the Jewish quarter of Baghdad who specialized in antiquities. The man determined that it was a seal that dated back some 2500 years and probably belonged to some wealthy businessman. It must be amazing to live somewhere that you can pick up something like that when you are just on a picnic.

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