jhameia: GIF animation of a lemongrass bush, followed by frames saying "Jha is like lemongrass" (Lemongrass)
[personal profile] jhameia
Item is a bag containing other items - 6 segments (or culms, if you want to get technical) of bamboo which contain dried preserved food.

The bag itself is an incurious brown linen slingbag, with no covering flap. It is enough to contain all 6 segments of bamboo

Each segment is 30cm long, 6cm in diameter, with one natural node on one end and the other end plugged with a screw-on wooden cap. The caps don't appear to all be the same wood.

When x-rays couldn't conclusively show us what was inside (the results look like meandering abstract paintings), so we opened one of these bamboo segments for closer inspection. It contained dried vegetables and fruits, as well as half-cooked rice and dried noodles. We've sent a few pieces to the labs for dating.

In the interest of science(!), we stood the segment on its end, poured in some hot water, screwed back in the cap, and waited a minute or so before pouring out the contents into a separate bowl. The result was a soup that smelled and tasted like it had pepper, a hint of chili, ginger, and what might have been beef, or might have been chicken stock. I won't lie, this Mee In My Bamboo thing is pretty nommy.

This raises some interesting questions: Why would instant soup be developed like this that it can be easily transported for long periods of time? Who would carry such a bag? The bag only contains six; perhaps the owner had one meal a day over a six-day period? Or did this bag belong to a worker, this food item being a form of cheap sustenance?
inkstone: xxxHOLiC's Yuuko smoking (smoke)
[personal profile] inkstone
Item is a glass barrel, filled 3/4 full with pickled vegetables in a vinegar solution.

Height: 75cm
Diameter: 65cm

Glass is red in color and inscribed with a large, stylized banyan tree on the side. Lid is similarly inscribed with a twining vine design along the perimeter.

A metal locking mechanism in the shape of an unfurled flower holds the lid latched shut. Metal is of indeterminate origin but color changes depending on how the light hits it, ranging from dark grey to pale gold. A request has been submitted to the metallurgy department for further analysis.

Care must be taken to unlock latch as edges are extremely sharp; shallow cuts occurred during every examination that did not utilize personal protective equipment. Note that any attempt to unlock latch using gloves results in failure. Thus far, only bare hands have yielded success. In the open state, locking mechanism resembles a flower in full bloom.

Pickled vegetables consist of shredded papaya, carrot, ginger, red bell pepper, and onion. No test subjects displayed adverse effects after consuming a small sample. Continued observation of test subjects is recommended for any signs of long-term effects.

The interior of the barrel is noticeably cooler than the ambient, room temperature but there is no sign of a temperature control unit anywhere on or inside barrel. Frost was observed on plates and dishes containing food samples. A sample of the vinegar solution has been submitted to chemistry for analysis.

The following message is inscribed in Tagalog on the interior of the lid:
For those not like us,

We graciously thank you for your continued protection, and the baranggay appreciates your longstanding forbearance.

There is no signature.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Item is a jar made of clay, sealed with a mix of (fossilized) resin. The outside of the jar has painted grooves, showing the shape of various herbs and leaves. Among them, the picture depicting what appears to be a tongkat ali is encircled with black ink.

In controlled conditions, the resin sealing the jar was removed, and found the tongkat ali pickled in a solution of some sort. We are as yet unable to determine what the solution contains.

Then some silly bugger left the tongkat ali on a plate by itself in the middle of the room and some ants got to it, and the ants died. Oh, a rat, too. The herb seems to contain some potent poison that is lethal when consumed. We cannot find traces of the poison within the liquid solution keeping it preserved, which is a mystery, since any poison within the herb should long have seeped out into the rest of the solution by now.

After removing another sample of the tongkat ali and the water, the jar has been resealed to prevent any mishaps.

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