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Oldest known drinking straws identified

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Archaeologists have identified the oldest surviving drinking straws. The long silver and gold tubes are over 5,000 years old and were likely used to drink beer from a communal vessel.

These were initially found in 1897 in the Maikop Kurgan in the Caucuses. This large burial mound is one of the most famous Bronze Age elite graves from the region, containing three individuals and hundreds of precious objects.

This included the eight tubes, each over a meter long, some with bull figurines on the stem. Earlier research identified them as scepters or perhaps poles for a canopy. They are now on display in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, but their purpose remained unknown.

As such, new research by a team in Russia, published in Antiquity, re-investigated them.



Party like a Sumerian: reinterpreting the ‘sceptres’ from the Maikop kurgan


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