Keepers’ Corner – Roman chicken’s egg

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This amazing object is not yet in our collection, but hopefully, it will be soon.

It is an intact egg, and is the only known intact survival of a Roman chicken’s egg. It was found just outside Aylesbury, when the Berryfields estate was being built. Three were actually found, but they were incredibly fragile and only one survived the excavation intact. Its survival is nothing short of miraculous -being almost 2000 years old, the shell is now paper thin. It only survived this long as it was fortunately preserved underwater in a Roman well (along with a beautiful woven wooden basket). The waterlogged conditions meant the inside of the egg did not dry out – had they done so, the shell would have cracked and collapsed. The egg is currently undergoing conservation with the archaeologists who excavated it, Oxford Archaeology.


Image Credit: Oxford Archaeology

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