A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Ancient Baby Bottle Found in Italy
Monday, December 16, 2013
TARANTO, ITALY—Archaeologists digging a rock-cut tomb in the Puglia region, the Italian peninsula's "heel," have discovered a 2,400-year old terra cotta pig that could have been a toy or served as a baby bottle. The remains of two adults were found in the tomb, which was made when the area was occupied by the Messapians, a people who migrated to the region from the Balkans some 3,000 years ago. Led by the archaeologist Arcangelo Alessio of the Archaeological Superintendency of Puglia, the team discovered 30 funerary objects in the tomb, including female statuettes and ointment vessels. Known as a guttus, the pig vessel had rattles in its belly, possibly to soothe a baby to sleep. The archaeologists suggest that the tomb could have once held the remains of a third individual, a baby, which have since decomposed.
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