Eggshells and pipes highlight 16th century Swedish kitchen

Swedish archaeologists were recently given the rare opportunity to excavate a portion of the Södermalmstorg area in Stockholm. The excavation revealed a complete 16th century kitchen, including intricately-carved tobacco pipes and an unexplained pile of eggshells. (photos)

The dig unearthed the standing walls of the basement kitchen used by a wealthy family, including two large tile stoves, one of which was filled with eggshells. "It was totally unexpected. We don’t know why they ended up in the oven," project leader Kenneth Svensson said. "They could have been cooking, but it looks like some kind of ritual. Back in those days there were many different folk rituals when people built houses and tore them down, things like putting coins under the floors to bring luck."