Roman refrigerator of the 1st century unearthed in Bulgaria (photo)

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Roman refrigerator of the 1st century unearthed in Bulgaria (photo)

Inside the find, they found parts of ceramic vessels along with several fragments of bones, presumably the remains of cooked food.

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Over the past few decades, archaeologists from Bulgaria and Poland have been excavating the site where once stood the fortress of the Roman legionaries of Nova, writes Ancient Origins.

The ruins of a fortress can be found in northern Bulgaria along the Danube River, where the Roman invaders established and defended the territorial border 2000 years ago. Ongoing excavations there have resulted in a number of remarkable finds, and the list of these wonders discovered now includes an ancient example of a refrigerator.

Archaeologists were exploring under the floor of the fortress when they came across a square box-like container made of thick , reddish ceramic plates. Archaeologists have been able to identify this object as an ancient version of a refrigerator used to store perishable food.

Roman refrigerator I unearthed in Bulgaria century (photo)

Roman refrigerator of the 1st century unearthed in Bulgaria (photo)

A Roman refrigerator was found inside a military barracks. It was a built-in element that was installed in a niche in the stone floor of the building underground, that is, it could only be opened from above. This design ensured that it would be fairly well insulated by the cold stone that surrounded it on three sides.

Because Bulgaria has temperatures below freezing for up to five months of the year, Roman soldiers could collect ice or snow to place it in a drawer to keep food cold and fresh in winter.

The researchers were delighted to find that the ceramic storage box was not empty. Inside the refrigerator, they found pieces of ceramic vessels along with several bone fragments, presumably the remains of cooked food. They also found a bowl of charcoal, which they believed was used to repel insects.

Nova Fortress was built in the 1st century. It is likely that the food storage box was installed while a natural element in a fully equipped army barracks building.

Roman refrigerator I unearthed in Bulgaria century (photo)

Roman refrigerator of the 1st century unearthed in Bulgaria (photo)

The skillfully constructed refrigerator was not the only interesting find discovered by Polish and Bulgarian archaeologists. They also discovered a cache of several dozen coins, again from the Roman era. The coins lay in layers dating back to the 3rd and 4th centuries.

Another interesting discovery was the remains of a Roman dwelling located inside the fortress. Archaeologists have found several artifacts in the building, including grinding stones, a fishing weight, and several more fragments of a ceramic vessel.

“This ancient refrigerator is a particularly rare find, as structures of this type do not often withstand the ravages of time” , the experts concluded.