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Israeli archeologists find hangover from WWI

Israeli experts on Wednesday said they had unearthed hundreds of glass liquor bottles at the remains of a First World War British army barracks in the centre of the country.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement that the camp, near the town of Ramle, was used by an expeditionary force under General Edmund Allenby for about nine months from November 1917 during a pause in the campaign against the Turkish army in Palestine.

The statement quoted excavation director Ron Toueg as saying the bottles were found among crockery shards and broken cutlery in a rubbish tip.

“About 70 percent of the waste that was discarded in the refuse pit were liquor bottles,” Toueg said. “It seems that the soldiers took advantage of the respite given them to release the tension by frequently drinking alcohol.”

“The discovery of this site and the finds in it provide us with an opportunity for a glimpse of the unwritten part of history, and reconstruct for the first time the everyday life and leisure of the soldiers.”

Pictures of the bottles showed several marked as “Gordon’s Gin” and “Dewars Whisky”.

Researcher Brigitte Ouahnouna said it was the first such discovery in Israel.

“It is a fascinating testimony of the everyday life of the British military camp a century ago,” the statement quoted her as saying.


© Agence France-Presse