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Update COVID-19 25 October 2020

25 October 2020 — Six (6) new COVID-19 cases were identified out of 1282 samples tested today. This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases to five thousand, and sixty-six (5066). To date, four thousand, eight hundred, and thirty (4830) patients have recovered, including twenty-four (24) in the past 24 hours. The number of active…
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    A complete chicken egg dating back to about 1,000 years ago has been unearthed in Yavne, a town in central Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Wednesday.

    “Eggshell fragments are known from earlier periods, for example in the City of David and at Caesarea and Apollonia, but due to the eggs’ fragile shells, hardly any whole chicken eggs have been preserved. Even at the global level, this is an extremely rare find,” Dr. Lee Perry Gal of the IAA, a leading expert on poultry in the ancient world, said in a press release. “In archaeological digs, we occasionally find ancient ostrich eggs, whose thicker shells preserve them intact.”

    The egg from the excavation. (Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority)The egg from the excavation. (Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority)

    The egg was found in a vast industrial complex dating back to the Byzantine period (4th-7th century CE). Within the site, the archaeologists found a cesspit from the Islamic period and to their surprise they spotted the unusual object in it.

    ““The egg’s unique preservation is evidently due to the conditions in which it lay for centuries, nestled in a cesspit containing soft human waste that preserved it,” IAA archaeologist Alla Nagorsky, the site’s excavation director, said. “Even today, eggs rarely survive for long in supermarket cartons. It’s amazing to think this is a 1,000-year-old find!”

    Since the shell was slightly cracked, most of its contents leaked out, but part of the yoke was still inside, which will allow further analysis in the future.

    Chicken have been raised in Israel for consumption of eggs and meat for some 2,300 years, since the Hellenist period and early Roman period.

    Bone assemblages in the land indicate that from the 7th century, when the Islamic period began, pork consumption drastically decreased compared to previous centuries.

    “Families needed a ready protein substitute that does not require cooling and preservation, and they found it in eggs and chicken meat,” Perry Gal said.

    The egg further cracked when it was removed from the site, but was restored to its original state in the IAA organics lab.

    The cesspit also contained some other objects, including three bone dolls from the same period.

    The excavation has been conducted as part of the project to build a new neighborhood in Yavne.

    Israeli law requires that all construction projects are accompanied by a salvage excavation.

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