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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Olive oil fed 2000 BC foundries

(ANSA) - Nicosia, March 6 - Olive oil was used as fuel for foundries before it became one of the glories of the Mediterranean cuisine, Italian archaeologists believe .

A team from Rome has discovered that the Mediterranean's first foundries were fuelled by olive oil and not, as previously believed, by charcoal .

Exploring a dig site in southern Cyprus which has already yielded the oldest wine and silk in the Mediterranean, the Italians unearthed copper-smelting ovens dating back to 2,000 BC .

They found that the walls were covered with thick, black resin .

Samples of the mysterious pitch-like substance were sent back to Rome from the site at Pyrgos Mavroraki near Limassol for analysis at the Institute of Technologies Applied to Art (ITABC) .

It turned out to be the burnt residue of olive oil .

Read the rest of the article at Ansa.

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