Grabbing a round of pints at the pub is truly a timeless activity. At least, that’s the latest conclusion after a recent archaeological discovery.

A group of researchers recently uncovered a buried tavern in the Iraqi city of Lagash, according to CNN. The ancient pub, which is believed to be around 5,000 years old, was buried a mere 19 inches underground.

This structure, which includes both an open dining area and a kitchen-like room, is believed to date back to 2,700 BCE. The site was first excavated in mid-2022, archeologist Reed Goodman told CNN, at which point the group first discovered the open-air dining space. At the time, archaeologists believed the building was a type of courtyard.

An overhead view of the archeological site.
Credit: Lagash Archaeological Project

The group returned later to dig out the structure, revealing more than just the courtyard. They uncovered a large, “industrial-sized” oven, along with a “refrigerator” to regulate food temperature, benches, and bowls filled with fish remains.

Historians previously believed this community to contain rigid boundaries between enslaved people and the ruling class. A “middle class,” indicated by the presence of a tavern, offers some new insight into this ancient society.

“The fact that you have a public gathering place where people can sit down and have a pint and have their fish stew, they’re not laboring under the tyranny of kings,” Goodman told CNN. “Right there, there is already something that is giving us a much more colorful history of the city.”

It turns out that diners in ancient Iraq loved a sunny patio view, too.