Ancient 'fridge' containing animal bones and ‘incense burners to repel insects’ found in Roman soldiers’ fort
Polish archaeologists have discovered an ‘ancient fridge’ during excavation work at a Roman legion camp in Bulgaria.
Found in what was the military barracks in Novae, lead archaeologist Professor Piotr Dyczek from the University of Warsaw said the food storage unit was made of ceramic plates and contained fragments of dishes and animal bones.
He added that the preserved bone fragments had traces of thermal treatment, meaning that the meat stored in the container had been baked.
There were also charcoal particles and the remains of a small bowl which Dyczek said could have been the remains of a censer used to repel insects.
According to the archeologist, the discovery of such 'refrigerators' is rare as they rarely survive building reconstructions.
Built in the 1st century CE by the Romans’ first Italic legion (legio I Italica), Novae was a permanent base at the Lower Danube limes (border of the empire) in the province of Moesia inferior.
In 69, it was decided to strengthen the border of the empire as the neighbouring Dacia was considered a threat.
Consequently, the newly formed legion was moved to the Danube.
The first Italic legion was stationed in Novae until the middle of the 5th century.
Previous discoveries have included a military hospital, the building of the legionary headquarters, and 2,000-year-old bathhouses, one of the largest and most recognised ancient bath complexes in the Old World.