5,000 year-old drive-through sold goat and bullets

By » Wed, November 2 2011

2 Godin Tepe 450x297 5,000 year old drive through sold goat and bullets

The late T. Cuyler Young Jr was the curator of Royal Ontario Musium and led the excavation of Iranian Godin Tepe archeological site through the ’60s and ’70s. His works were just published this year along with more recent discoveries made at the site.

At the center of the dig site was a 5,000-year-old fortress, complete with soldier’s supplies, food, beer supplies, and bullets.

She said that when ancient military sites were abandoned in Mesopotamia, clay sling bullets were often left behind. She also suggested that the beveled-rim bowls found there may have been used for water rations rather than grain.

“There’s no reason to have that beveling except that it’s a wonderful place to put your lip when you drink out of it,” Badler said, adding that she tried drinking out of one of these bowls. “I covered it with a very thin plastic bag, and I filled it with water,” she said. “What the beveling does is it makes a very thin edge—it was extremely easy to drink out of the bowl.”

A few of the bowls were also lined with bitumen, a substance used for waterproofing. “Why would you line a bowl that had grain in it, or porridge, with bitumen?”

The windows, in the scenario she proposes, would have been used to provision troops. “I think there was a local army queued up,” she said. “I think they were giving out the weapons over here, and (at) the other window maybe they were giving out water and food.”

So the compound would have served as a takeout place, though the food and bullets would have been provided to soldiers on their way to fight. “Here’s your bread, here’s your water, your rations for the day, and here’s your (weapons), so get the marauders,” Badler said.

A place where you can roll up, get your goat stew, a pint, and ammo? Five millennia and we still have not mastered these incredible and simple technologies. Well, not counting Wal-Mart.

If you’re interested in the dig at Godin Tepe, you can read all about it in the collection of Young’s research, as well as the others, “On The High Road: The History of Godin Tepe, Iran.”

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