This piece of withered fruit excavated in Japan turned out to be an incredibly well preserved 2,100-year-old melon. How did it stay so fresh? Vacuum-packing, of course!
Archeologists used radiocarbon analysis to estimate the age of the fruit, believed to be the oldest melon found with flesh still on the rind, said Shuji Yamazaki, a local official in the city of Moriyama. [...]
The melon might have been so well-preserved because it was in a vacuum-packed state in a wet layer below the ground, an environment hostile to microorganisms that might otherwise have broken down the remains, Yamazaki said.