bottles of alcohol discovered in Israel bottles of alcohol discovered in Israel This is why the rum is gone. (Photo: Clara Amit, IAA)

Archaeologists discover British soldiers were pretty wasted during WWI

British troops stationed in Israel drank a whole lot of spirits to keep their spirits up during the war.

Israel is full of ancient archaeological discoveries, from 6,000-year-old wands to Roman board games. But the country's latest finding is from a much more familiar time in history: World War I.

While looking for way older things in northern Israel, archaeologists uncovered a collapsed Ottoman building that British soldiers hung out in for almost a year during the war. In a refuse pit near the building, they found soldier buttons, riding equipment and, most excitingly, booze.

And I mean a LOT of booze. 70 percent of the trash they uncovered was liquor bottles. It seems that British soldiers liked to drink as much as you'd expect they would.

London Dry Gin, Dewar's and a soda bottle left by British soldiers fighting in WWI.A soda bottle, Dewar's and London Dry Gin left by British soldiers fighting in WWI. (Photo: Assaf Peretz/Israel Antiquities Authority)

“The pit contained a wealth of artifacts including fragments of fascinating bottles," said Ron Toueg, the excavation director, "each of which is a story onto itself." Indeed, the kind of story that starts with a drinking game and ends like "The Hangover."

So, what did the Brits like to drink?

“Mainly wine, beer, soda… and gin, liqueur and whiskey," described Brigitte Ouahnouna, one of the researchers. The British troops successfully took control of the region from the Ottomans during the war, and they apparently did it with a pretty high blood alcohol concentration.


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Related Topics: Archaeology