Ice Merchants

Digs & Discoveries March/April 2019


A large, egg-shaped ice house has been unearthed near Regent’s Park in London. The brick-lined underground structure, which measures 31 feet high and 23 feet wide, was built in the 1780s. “This was one of the earliest and largest commercial ice wells,” says David Sorapure, head of built heritage at Museum of London Archaeology. “Previously, ice had been something of a luxury, available only at aristocratic estates.” Among those who took advantage of the novel amenity were restaurants, private residents, and local doctors, who likely used it to help dull patients’ pain.

  • Artifacts March/April 2019

    Seal Stamp

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    (Rikke Caroline Olsen/The National Museum of Denmark)
  • Around the World March/April 2019


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    (Courtesy Classy Yacht Charitable Trust)
  • Digs & Discoveries March/April 2019

    Fairfield's Rebirth in 3-D

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    (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)
  • Features March/April 2019

    Egypt's Eternal City

    Once the most sacred site on the Nile, Heliopolis was all but forgotten until archaeologists returned to save it from disappearing forever

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    (Courtesy Dietrich Raue and Aiman Ashmawy/The Heliopolis Project)