A team of researchers discovered what is being described and reported as the world's first 1,700-year-old intact chicken egg with contents inside.
Scientists excavated the chicken egg from Berryfields near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, and upon discovery, four eggs were identified, but only one was intact with contents still within. A report from the BBC describes the discovery of the egg as a "world's first." The egg was found in a waterlogged pit, and the organic materials within this pit persevered it all these years. The 1,700-year-old egg was taken to labs for analysis, where it underwent Micro CT scans and 3D pictures.
Edward Biddulph, the senior project manager at Oxford Archaeology overseeing the excavation of the egg, told the BBC that scientists were "blown away when we saw the contents in there, as we might have expected them to have leeched out." Conservator Dana Goodburn-Brown conducted additional examinations at the University of Kent, who took the egg in for 3D imaging and concluded with the results the egg still contained its liquid content.
"It produced an amazing image that indicated that the egg, apart from being intact - which is incredible enough - also retained its liquid inside, presumably deriving from the yolk, albumen, etc," Biddulph told BBC
The egg has now arrived at London's Natural History Museum, where scientists are currently discussing the best way to preserve it while also outlining strategies to extract the liquid within it without causing irreparable damage.
"It's a bit like blowing an egg - but obviously a much finer process. There is huge potential for further scientific research, and this is the next stage in the life of this remarkable egg," Biddulph told BBC