The Lagash area in Iraq is a gold mine for archaeologists: on an area of around 600 hectares, it is possible to study how normal people lived almost 5000 years ago. When the excavation manager Holly Pittman from the University of Pennsylvania accompanied the excavation of homes and workshops here, she suddenly got a call on her cell phone. A call that changed our picture of the people of Lagash in 2600 BC. would change. And one that made her very excited.
"We have a tavern here," said one of her colleagues over the phone. The archaeologist rushed straight to the spot where the surprising find was made. A large furnace was first found there. At first it was assumed that this building might also be a pottery workshop with a kiln, as was often the case in the vicinity.
But the design of the oven was different, and the research team also found a large, four-tier shelf, in the collapsed remains of which shards of bowls were discovered. There were benches in front of the building where customers could sit, eat, drink and chat.
It was clear to the archaeologists: the building in the 5000-year-old settlement was a restaurant. So if you thought that 5,000 years ago people were just struggling to survive, cooking porridge at home and otherwise just working and sleeping - you are definitely wrong.
There was the time and the desire – and also the financial means – to eat out. And even cool drinks were served to customers in the ancient Sumerian city: the tavern had a clay pot sunken into the floor in which food and drinks could be kept cool. A kind of forerunner of the refrigerator, called "Zeer".
Bread, fish and chicken were probably eaten - the team found corresponding bones in the ruins. They probably drank beer. "Really, that's great...we were all very excited," Pittman told the Miami Herald. The team therefore definitely wants to do more research in the Lagash area.
Sources: "Miami Herald", University of Pennsylvania