4000-Year-Old Ostrich Egg Remains Discovered in Israel Desert

Ostrich Eggs Estimated to be Up to 7,500 Years Old Discovered in Southern Israel

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported today that a group of eight ostrich eggs have been discovered near an ancient hearth in the Nitzana sand dunes in the Negev desert in Southern Israel, and have been estimated to have originated up to 7,500 years ago.

The discovery took place in agricultural fields of the Beer Milka Community during the preparation of new land for crops. Archaeologists found a camp that extends over around 200 square meters, and contains burnt stones, flint, stone tools and ceramic fragments.

Lauren Davis, Director of Excavations for the AAI, said that the find is very important and can teach us a lot about nomadic desert peoples in ancient times. She added that the eggs were crushed but well-preserved, and found in the surface layer very close to the stove, indicating that they had been intentionally collected.

The next step will be to examine the site and establish a more precise date of origin, as well as reconstruct the eggs to try to understand what they were used for. Ostriches were common in this area until the 19th century and their eggs have been found in the past in archaeological sites from different eras, with the primary uses being a source of food, as decorative elements, and even at funerary contexts.

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