Unwashed Dishes Reveal the Diets of a Lost Civilization

The potsherds yielded proteins from numerous plants—barley, wheat, peas and bitter vetch—as well as the blood and milk of several species of animal, including cows, sheep and goats. Of even greater interest to the researchers was the precision with which they could identify the proteins. They didn’t just see barley, but could identify the specific signature of endosperms, the edible part of the plant. The material was stored in ceramic containers in a way that suggests it was probably used to make some kind of porridge.The milk offered even more insight, as the researchers could distinguish whey from other parts of the liquid—and in one jar they found only whey, indicating the ancient Anatolians were actively transforming the milk into something like cheese or yogurt. “Here we have the earliest insight into people doing this kind of milk processing,” Hendy says. “Researchers have found milk in pottery in earlier times, but what’s exciting about this find and this technique is that we can see actually how people are processing their dairy foods, rather than simply detecting its presence or absence.”

Source: Ancient Proteins From Unwashed Dishes Reveal the Diets of a Lost Civilization | Science | Smithsonian

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.