The ancient city-state of Lagash, Iraq, was recently discovered by archaeologists from the U.S. and Italy. A tavern buried 19 inches underground was uncovered by the archaeologists. Around 5,000 years ago, the bar was found there, which makes it one of the oldest bars ever discovered.
The Lagash project director, Holly Pittman, is a professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s History of Art department. She told the press that it was partially open air, partly kitchen area.
Pittman told the Storyline World correspondent that it was the earliest public eatery in southern Mesopotamia.
Lagash was the capital and religious center of a state with the same name, whose population is estimated to be around 50,000. In recent decades, archaeological digs have revealed that Lagash was a major manufacturing center, producing ceramics and other goods.
There was also an industrial-sized oven, a moisture-wicking ancient “fridge,” and dozens of conical bowls discovered, according to archaeologists.
Reed Goodman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told CNN that the first feature to appear was the large oven, which is really beautiful. The soils were colored rainbow-like from various burning episodes and deposits of ash, and the interior was framed by large bricks.
As evidenced by the many fish remains found in the conical bowls, the courtyard was used for outdoor dining.
It looks like this was a McDonald’s with prepared food for fast service, Pittman told the Washington Post.
In addition to providing insight into how people lived in this ancient city-state, the discovery proves that people socialized and enjoyed food and drink even thousands of years ago.
The find is part of a larger excavation project at Lagash. The team hopes to uncover more secrets about Sumerian life at the site as their work continues.
There is evidence that something sudden and dramatic might have taken place at the tavern, such as a natural disaster.