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of Granada, Santiago de Compostela and Reading (UK) have studied human skeletal remains from the Cova do Santo collective burial cave in northwestern Spain 

Remains found in the Sil river valley–in the province of Ourense–reveal a vegetable-based diet with little meat or fish content
Research undertaken by the universities of Granada, Santiago de Compostela and Reading (UK) has shed new light on Bronze Age man’s diet and the arrival of new crops in the Iberian Peninsula at that time.
The research–published in the Journal of Archaeological Science–studies human remains from the collective burial site at Cova do Santo in the Sil river valley, in the northwestern Spanish province of Ourense.
The cave held the remains of at least 14 individuals of both sexes, including children. Given the unstable condition of the burial cavity, the researchers could stay inside for just a few hours. Consequently, they only collected remains off the surface of the cave floor.
Subsequent analysis of stable isotopes in the bone collagen remains revealed that the Cova do Santo inhabitants ate a vegetable-based diet with little meat or fish content despite the site being close to the river Sil.
“There are no significant differences between individuals in terms of diet, so access to food resources must have been similar, regardless of sex or age,” says Olalla López-Costas, lead author of the study.
The researchers found no signs of millets or of millet consumption which means they cannot confirm millets were a part of Bronze Age man’s diet in northwestern Iberia. “We have compared our findings with publications on other sites and believe there are reasonable grounds for believing that summer crops could have been consumed in central Iberia earlier than previously believed,” says López-Costas.
Summer crops
These crops, called summer or spring crops and most commonly represented by millets, “give a high yield in a short time, which probably helped people become more sedentary and the excess of production could have contributed to the construction of a social hierarchy”.
However, it’s still difficult to say when millets were first introduced into the Iberian diet. Until recently, it was believed to have occurred in the Late Bronze Age but recent discoveries of seeds at archaeological sites seem to indicate that it could have been earlier.
Prehistoric burial caves are relatively common in northern and western Iberia. However, very few physical anthropology studies–like that described here–have been conducted. In terms of the number of burials, this would seem to be the largest prehistoric site in the northwest of thePeninsula. The remains found here have been dated at between 1800 and 1600 BC.

Original article:

Canal.ugr.es

Ancientfoods:

Such a find, and a dinner invitation as well. From the mention of Serapis ( incorrectly spelled Sarapis, either by the author or mis read from the papyri ), this would date from the Greek period.

Originally posted on Ritaroberts's Blog:

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US Army sun cream and tins of bacon are among the finds on Salisbury Plain revealed by archaeologists, to mark US Independence Day.

Wessex Archaeology, based on the plain, said various US-issued provisions had been found in recent years.

Among the finds were tins of cooking oil, bottles of sauce and “even what appeared to be a block of lard”.

A group spokeswoman said: “The state of preservation of the provisions shows how well made they were.”

The Wiltshire plain has been used as a training ground by the British military since the early 20th Century.

It also provided a training area for US troops preparing for the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe during World War Two.

“The military has been on Salisbury Plain for decades so it’s not been ploughed up or disturbed by developers,” said Matt Leivers, from Wessex Archaeology.

Among the other finds unearthed on the plain were spoons and plates and bottles of Camp coffee.

Speaking about the “cream sunburn preventive”, which is labelled for use in “hot or cold climates”, a Wessex Archaeology spokesman said: “It was a rare hoard of 16 tins of US Army sun cream – still with the contents intact.

“It’s evidence of US military presence on Salisbury Plain and the surrounding area.

“Sadly, there were no contents left in the tins of sliced bacon.”

The finds have been transferred to the Salisbury Museum.

Original article:

BBCNewsBacon from WW2

   
 

Archaeologists found food from between 800-1000 BC in a set of pots, textiles and other material at a Cambridgeshire settlement destroyed by fire during the Bronze Age© Cambridge Archaeological Unit

An “extraordinary testimony” to the lives of prosperous people in Bronze Age Britain could lie under the soil of a 1,100-square metre site destroyed in a fire 3,000 years ago, say archaeologists who are about to start digging within a brick pit near Peterborough.
Must Farm – part of the Flag Fen Basin, and the site where nine pristine log boats were famously unearthed in 2011 – was protected by a ring of wooden posts before a dramatic fire at the end of the Bronze Age caused the dwelling to collapse into the river.
Its submergence preserved its contents, creating what experts are describing as a “time capsule” of “exceptional” decorated tiles made from lime tree bark.
Rare small pots, jars complete with the remains of hastily-abandoned meals and “sophisticated” exotic glass beads are expected to provide a complete picture of prehistoric life during the nine-month excavation, which is part of a four-year, £1.1 million project at the site.
“We think those living in the settlement were forced to leave everything behind when it caught on fire,” says Kasia Gdaniec, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Senior Archaeologist.
“An extraordinarily rich range of goods and objects are present in the river deposits, some of which were found during an evaluation in 2006.

A Late Iron Age baldric ring with La Tène style decoration, probably part of a shoulder belt for carrying a sword, found in the peat which formed in the Must Farm palaeochannel when then the watercourse became entirely choked by sediment at the end of the first millennium BC© Cambridge Archaeological Unit
“Among the items was a charred pot with vitrified food inside it and a partially charred spoon, suggesting that the site had been abandoned quickly.
“We anticipate that more of the timber structure, a range of organic remains and fishing equipment and the whole gamut of personal, work and settlement paraphernalia will be found.
“But we are hoping not to find remains of people that may have suffered the impact of the fire, though this possibility cannot be ruled out.
The mass of preserved timbers were originall discovered during an excavation in 2006© Cambridge Archaeological Unit
“It’s an exciting excavation. The finds are well preserved due to the waterlogged sediments within this former river channel.”
The footprints of the settlement’s former residents still stand, although more discoveries are not expected to emerge until late summer.

 

“Usually at a Later Bronze Age period site you get pits, post-holes and maybe one or two really exciting metal finds,” says David Gibson, the Archaeological Manager at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit.
“Convincing people that such places were once thriving settlements takes some imagination. But this time so much more has been preserved.
“It’s a fantastic chance to find out how people in the Late Bronze Age lived their daily lives, including how they dressed and what meals they ate.”
The location of the site, at the edge of the quarry, meant attempts to preserve it in situ after it was discovered in 2006 proved unviable as a long-term historic record.
“The combination of sudden abandonment followed by exceptional preservation means that there is a real possibility of further exciting discoveries,” says Duncan Wilson, of Historic England.
“This could represent a moment of time from the Late Bronze Age comparable to the connection with the past made by the objects found with the Mary Rose.
“This site is internationally important and gives a fascinating insight into the lives of our ancestors.”
A rapier and sword were found at the clay quarry, now run by a building company, in 1969. The new discoveries will be displayed at Peterborough Museum and other local venues.

Original article:

Culture24.org.uk

New research led by archaeologists at Cardiff University has showcased “globally unparalleled” evidence of a unique prehistoric pork-focused feasting practice in South Wales.

After 10 years of excavation and research, analysis of animal bones deposited in a ‘midden’ or rubbish heap at a prehistoric feasting site in Llanmaes, Vale of Glamorgan, has revealed the novel custom of mass feasting focused specifically on pigs’ right forequarters.

The research – a collaboration between the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion and National Museum Wales – has provided extraordinary insights into the lives of Wales’ prehistoric ancestors.

Published this week in archaeology journal Antiquity, the research details results from the analysis of more than 70,000 fragments bone – the largest collection of prehistoric animal bones ever discovered in Wales.

This, the researchers say, is a remarkably rare survival in a country where the acid nature of soils normally means the loss of this evidence of past ways of life.

Equally significant is the discovery that the majority of the pig bones were from just one quarter of the animal – the right forequarter – suggesting a selective feasting pattern.

Biomolecular analysis of teeth and bones has also demonstrated that many of the pigs were not locally-raised and may have been brought to the site from a substantial distance away, a monumental feat in prehistoric Britain.

Using the latest scientific methods, university osteoarchaeologist Dr Madgwick helped reconstruct these ceremonial feasts, which drew people and their animals from the locality and beyond to engage in conspicuous consumption on a grand scale.

The research was undertaken by Dr Madgwick, a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow, and co-author Dr Jacqui Mulville, Reader in Bioarchaeology, in partnership with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, which led the research excavations.

Dr Madgwick said: “Surprisingly, nearly 80% of the animal remains at Llanmaes were from pigs, at a time when sheep and cattle were the main food animals and pork was not a favoured meat. What is perhaps more remarkable is that the majority of the pig bones were from just one quarter of the animal – the right forequarter. It might be that each household had to donate the same cut of meat to be included in the feast – that way everyone would have to slaughter a pig in honour of the feast.

“This selective pattern of feasting principally on just one quarter of one species is genuinely globally unparalleled and particularly startling as it continued over a period of centuries during the Iron Age.”

Dr Madgwick believes these tightly-controlled practices would have had a role to play in community cohesion.

He added: “The Early Iron Age communities of South Wales and beyond would have been small and dispersed, but these feasts would have represented a time of solidarity, when people came together to feast on pig right forequarters, just as their fathers and their fathers’ fathers had done.”

Adam Gwilt, Principal Curator for Prehistory at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, and one of the museum co-directors of the project added: “Middens speak not just of the everyday and filled bellies, but also about the ways of thinking and being, the customs, values and beliefs of the time. Communal feasting connected distant parts of Atlantic Europe during the later Bronze Age, offering opportunities for expressing and negotiating power relations, maintaining and binding contacts, alliances and exchanges.”

The research is ongoing and Dr Madgwick is currently undertaking further scientific analysis to reveal seasonal patterns of feasting and the methods of cooking and food preparation used.

animal remains

 

Original Article:

cardiff.ac.uk

 

 

Archaeological work in the ancient city of Kaunos has unearthed a 2,000 year-old saltpan. The ancient city, which dates back to 3,000 years ago, is located in the Dalyan neighborhood in the western province of Muğla’s Ortaca district.

Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Rector Professor Mansur Harmandar said they have been carrying out scientific work in the region since İztuzu beach was handed over to the university.

He said a team headed by Professor Cengiz Işık was working in the area, which is home to many historical artifacts.

The professor said during the course of the work they had discovered an area where salt was produced, and continued:

“Forty-eight saltpans were unearthed in the area of İztuzu beach. A project will be made soon to help the area gain tourism. We are currently working on a project in which ancient-era work will be revived. Our purpose is to boost tourism in the area as well as protect and use it.”

Harmandar said the ancient city of Kaunos was a center of trade and civilization in the past, and excavations and scientific studies showed that the locals earned great income from salt production in the region.

Most important finding

The deputy head of Kaunos excavations, Assistant Professor Ufuk Çörtük, said Kaunos had a very significant position among Anatolian cities and excavations had been ongoing there since 1966.

Çörtük said 48 salt platforms and four channels had been unearthed in the ancient saltpan facility, adding, “The most important outcome of the Kaunos excavations is the saltpans. 2,000 year-old saltpans made us very excited.”

He said the ancient facility was located on a narrow sand dune on İnceburun Hill behind İztuzu beach, adding the production of salt was an irreplaceable part of social and economic life in the city.

“Our studies reveal that the saltpan is the first one in Anatolian archaeology. Its localization, architectural tissue and production system can be explained,” he said.

Çörtük said interest in the saltpan would increase once the region starts serving tourism.

“It is reported in the ‘customs regulations’ inscription, which was found in the ancient site, that Kaunos salt was one of the most important export articles of the city. In order to boost trade with Kaunos, Roman Emperor Hadrian needed to take some incentive measures regarding the customs regulations. These regulations didn’t compromise only two products; salt is one of them,” he said.

Çörtük said salt was the most desired product in Kaunos because salt was considered a health product for the eyes.

According to ancient era writer Plinius, salt was used for insect stings because of its purifying, dissolvent and caustic features, said Çörtük, adding the writer mentioned both the Salt Lake and Kaunos in regards to salt production.

Original Article:

Hurriyetdailynews.com
 

   

  

vikings-8

 

Scientists in Sweden are launching their own mead — an alcoholic beverage made from a fermented mix of honey and water — based on old recipes they say could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Together with a brewery, the scientists, who have long studied bees and their honey, have launched their own mead drink: Honey Hunter’s Elixir.

Lund University researcher Tobias Olofsson said mead had a long track record in bringing positive effects on health.

“Mead is an alcoholic drink made with just honey and water, and it was regarded as the drink of the gods and you could become immortal or sustain a better health if you drank it,” Olofsson said. “It was drunk by the Vikings for example and other cultures such as the Mayas, the Egyptians, and it was a drink that was regarded as a very beneficial drink.”

Honey production is key to the research. In previous research published in 2014, Olofsson and Alejandra Vasquez discovered that lactic-acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees, mixed with honey itself, could cure chronic wounds in horses that had proved resistant to treatment.

They said their research had proved that these bacteria had the power to collaborate and kill off all the human pathogens they have been tested against, including resistant ones. They are doing so by producing hundreds of antibacterial antibiotic-like substances.

What makes Honey Hunter’s Elixir different from other types of modern mead drinks is that is uses all 13 beneficial honeybee lactic-acid bacteria and the wild yeasts from honey that normally ferment mead spontaneously.

According to the team, commercial honey does not contain these bacteria. Since the honey and water mixture is sterilized before later adding industrial wine yeast, all other life in the honey, including wild yeast, is killed off.

The researchers say the drink contains 100 billion of these 13 different living and collaborating lactic-acid bacteria.

Olofsson said they believed mead could have been the most efficient historical equivalent to today’s antibiotics, and they see Honey Hunter’s Elixir as a possible way of preventing infections.

“Well, we’ve seen in our research that the honey bees actually add great flora of lactic-acid bacteria in honey, so the mead, when produced, is actually fermented by these lactic-acid bacteria together with wild yeasts and the lactic-acid bacteria can really kill off all the dangerous pathogens that are even resistant against antibiotics,” Olofsson said. “So our thinking is that the mead, when you consume the mead, these (antibacterial substances in) lactic-acid bacteria in the drink can actually be transferred to your blood and help you when you are infected with dangerous bacteria or promote health, preventing infections.”

In 2005, Olofsson and Vasquez discovered that many beneficial bacteria reside within honeybees in a structure called honey crop, which is the organ in which honeybees collect nectar for honey production.

As a result, their research has since focused on how this can be applied to functional foods, as alternative medical tools against infections and bee health.

The mead is part of this research, which is summarized on the website.

“We will have volunteers drinking this drink and measure different parameters to see if the compounds the bacteria produce could end up in the blood system and for that to cause a prevention or a cure for infections,” Vasquez said, adding that more research was needed.

“We don’t really know at the moment exactly which kind of infectious disease we could counteract in the future because we need to understand this thoroughly,” she said. “At the moment we know that the bacteria produce very interesting compounds, a lot of different weapons like antibiotics but a lot of them that collaborate and those weapons or the key in use in this viable bacteria in the future.”

If human trials are successful, it could help doctors overturn the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, in both First World countries and also in the developing world where fresh honey is more readily accessible than antibiotics.

In recent years antibiotic resistance has become a critical issue for global health, with an ever increasing number of strains of bacteria developing immunity.

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2015. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

By
Reuters
ILZE FILKS, REUTERS

Original article:

businessinsider.com

 

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