Chinese archaeologists discover pot full of 2,400-year-old soup

2400 year old soup found near terracotta army

The bronze cauldron of 2,400-year-old soup was found near the site of the Terracotta Army in the ancient Chinese capital of Xian. Image: CC vintagedept/Flickr

A 2,400-year-old pot of soup was unearthed by Chinese archaeologists in Shaanxi Province. Archaeologists unearthed a tomb near the ancient city of Xian and found a sealed bronze cauldron full of liquid and bones. Officials said the discovery could provide insight into the diet of people living in that region at the time.

Is 2,400-year-old soup edible?

The pot of 2,400 year-old soup was found when construction crews excavated the site to build an extension to the local airport. The discovery took place near the ancient Chinese capital of Xian, where the renowned “Terracotta Army” was found in the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China. The 2,400-year-old soup consisted of a collection of bones soaked in liquid. The soup ingredients were green due to being steeped in the patina that covered the bronze cauldron after sitting for 24 centuries. It was assumed that the soup wasn’t edible.

Insights into the ancient Chinese diet

The archaeologists said the tomb may have belonged to a military officer or member of the land-owning class during China’s Warring States Period from 475-221 BC. It’s the first time bone soup has been discovered at a Chinese archaeological site. The cauldron was re-sealed after samples were taken that may offer clues about what people ate and how they prepared their food in ancient times. Another cauldron was found nearby containing a colorless liquid that the archaeologists believe may be a type of wine.

Food for the Terracotta Army?

The 2,400-year-old soup is one of many discoveries in Xian, which was the capital of China for 1,100 years. In 1974 local farmers discovered the Terracotta Army, a huge collection of life-sized clay figures buried in the ground. The Terracotta Army was found in three separate pits holding more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Each clay figure was made with a unique look and different face.

Sources

BBC News

UPI

Wikipedia

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