Archaeologists found a restaurant-like structure roughly 2100 years old, making it one of the earliest such taverns in the western Mediterranean. The excavations took place in the ancient town of Lattara, Southern France. Excavations over the last five years revealed the remains of three indoor grist-mills and a trio of ovens, each three to four feet across, commonly used to bake flatbread. This led to an opinion that a bakery might have been discovered. But later discovery of earthen benches that lined the walls and a charcoal-burning hearth which occupied the middle of the floor in adjacent room, suggested that it was an inn where you could sit down.
The scientists discovered that fish bones littered the kitchen space, and bones from sheep and cattle were found in the courtyard. The floors were scattered with shards of fancy drinking bowls imported from Italy, as well as debris from large platters and bowls. The site did not yield any coins, suggesting the complex could’ve been a private dining room. But the absence of money in the tavern doesn’t mean diners weren’t paying for their meals. As Lattara show no evidence of large workshops that needed lots of labor and that people tend not to lose coins the function of the site needs more research, as the archaeologists stated.
(after USA Today)