Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ancient Soup

I found an interesting little article today about a curious archaeological discovery--a bowl of soup that is more than 2,000 years old, and is still liquid. The article may be found here.

The soup was found in a Chinese warrior's grave dated to the Warring States period (475 BCE to 221BCE), in a sealed three-legged bronze pot that likely had been used as a cooking pot. The tomb also contained a  sealed bottle, believed to be wine, that was also still liquid. The soup has been sent off to a laboratory for analysis.

Surprisingly, the article mentions that this pot is not the earliest soup found in a Chinese tomb. Another pot, this one believed to be about 4,000 years old, "containing noodles was found in 2005 at a site near the Yellow River."

I have long been accustomed to the idea that an immense amount of information about material culture in the past may be gleaned through archaeology, particularly about costume and architecture. But I tend to forget that archaeology can also teach us about ancient food.

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