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3,500-year-old lunch box found in Swiss Alps


Posted on Wednesday, 26 July, 2017 | Comment icon 12 comments

The lunch box was found high up in the Alps. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Edgar Jimenez
An extraordinarily well-preserved lunch box has been discovered on Switzerland's Lotschberg mountain.
The immaculate wooden container, which was lost by its owner sometime around 1500 B.C., is so well preserved that it even contains traces of the grains that were once kept inside it.

It was discovered at the top of the Lotschenpass at an altitude of 2,650 meters above sea level.

"The box has this kind of strange amorphous residue on it," said study author Jessica Hendy of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

"Cereal grains quite rarely survive thousands of years. Sometimes they survive when they're charred, but then they lose some of their diagnostic traits."

In addition to being incredibly rare, the find has also proven useful to scientists studying the development of cereal farming in Bronze Age Europe.

"We knew that cereals were around but don't know how important they were in the general economy," said Hendy. "Now we've developed [a technique to trace these grains], we can try to apply it more widely to understand how important cereals were for these early farmers."

Source: IB Times | Comments (12)

Tags: Switzerland, Lunch Box

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Taun on 26 July, 2017, 21:17
Cereal farming - specifically wheat - has been going on since about 10,000 BC... The grains in the lunch box are closer to our time than to the development of cereal farming... The Egyptians were using yeast to make "rising bread" (like today's loaves) since about 3,000 BC... But it's still a cool find... http://www.allaboutwheat.info/history.html
Comment icon #4 Posted by Claire. on 26 July, 2017, 21:27
I was referring specifically to Bronze Age Europe, but I appreciate the article as it provides a great deal of interesting information, organized in an easy to understand timeline. So thank you for that.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Bean85 on 27 July, 2017, 11:34
Taun: And the MC cheeseburger still in its wrapping
Comment icon #6 Posted by RoofGardener on 27 July, 2017, 11:42
Best place for it !
Comment icon #7 Posted by Attila911us on 27 July, 2017, 14:27
Was it the kind of cereal that we eat today? Like Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Gingitsune on 28 July, 2017, 1:04
The article mention "spelt, emmer and barley", not so mainstream anymore. Tastes change.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Krater on 28 July, 2017, 8:25
I was kind of hoping for a "Dukes of Hazzard" box with matching thermos.
Comment icon #10 Posted by third_eye on 28 July, 2017, 9:25
Bet the fries were soggy back then too ... ~
Comment icon #11 Posted by Dyna on 29 July, 2017, 22:00
What an odd looking
Comment icon #12 Posted by Dyna on 30 July, 2017, 0:13


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