Amphora, Archaic, middle of the 6th century B.C., Etruscan, Terracotta; bucchero, 14 1/4 - 8 7/8 in. (36.2 - 22.5 cm), Vases, Fluted shoulder.. (Photo by: Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images). (Photo by: Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The Shipwreck Salad Dressing Discovered 2,000 Years Later
By Nico Danilovich
Folks have been putting salad dressing on their greens for a long time — Babylonians were putting oil and vinegar on their salads almost two millennia ago, and Egyptians did the same with an Asian-spice twist. This century, scientists have found yet another ancient example of a salad dressing by the discovery of a shipwreck.
Chios, known today as Khíos, is a large island in the Aegean Sea that was once a prosperous trade hub with a booming food industry, producing wine, figs, olives, and much more. Ancient jars were even discovered in a 2,400-year-old shipwreck, half-mile off shore, containing olive oil and oregano mixed together as a sort of proto-Italian salad dressing.
Oregano can preserve salad dressing for quite a long time — although not for two millennia, as only remnants of the sauce remained. Another jar held traces of mastic, which was used to preserve wine, and while Chios has long been known for its wine, it turns out their ancient salad dressing may have been just as popular.