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First posted by Anahi.com

Photo/Illutration

KYOTO–No fancy machines here, just a lot of hard work. But this brewery still produced sake, and it’s believed to be the oldest ever found in Japan.

Excavation firm Kokusai Bunkazai Co. unearthed the brewery believed to be from the 15th century at the Saga archaeological site, formerly on the grounds of Tenryuji temple, in Kyoto’s Ukyo Ward.

Among the finds are a facility for squeezing the unrefined sake out and about 180 holes for holding storage jars.

The brewery is believed to have been used until the time of the Onin War (1467-1477).

The previously oldest-known brewery found in Itami, Hyogo Prefecture, is estimated to have been built in the Edo Period (1603-1867).

“The discovery (in Kyoto) is likely the oldest sake squeezing facility,” said Masaharu Obase, director of an Itami city-run museum. “It is smaller but has the same structure as the one dating to the Edo Period, indicating that a similar sake squeezing method was used in the medieval period.”

It was already known that sake was produced at Tenryuji temple during the Muromachi Period (1336-1573), allowing it to earn major profits and lend the money out at high interest rates. However, it was the first time that an archaeological finding has corroborated the fact, according to Kokusai Bunkazai.

The Tokyo-based company surveyed a 700-square-meter area near the current grounds of Tenryuji ahead of apartment construction between May and August 2018.

During the research, part of a sake squeezing facility believed to be from the 15th century was unearthed. Researchers said unrefined sake in cloth bags was placed in a tank and squeezed out, using a wooden bar with stones as leverage.

A pillar 1 meter long and 45 centimeters across, as well as two crosspieces to support it, each 15 cm per side and 1.8 meters long, were discovered along with about 20 stones that would have been placed on the crosspieces.

A hollow 1.8 meters across and 1 meter deep for a pot to receive drops of pressed sake was also found.

A smaller pillar from around the 14th century, 30 cm across and 40 cm long, was spotted two meters east of the hollow. Researchers said it is likely that the brewery was rebuilt.

The 180 holes for jars that stored sake are 60 cm across and 20 cm deep. Fragments of 14th-century Bizen ware jars, apparently with a diameter of 60 cm and a height of 1 meter, were unearthed as well.

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First posted June23 2010
via 9,000 year old beer recreated

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Archaeology.org

How monotonous was Neanderthal cuisine? The bones of large herbivores found at Neanderthal sites across Europe and Asia seem to indicate that their meals consisted of one course: meat. Several new studies, however, reveal a wider variety of menu options.

Isotope analysis of bones from Kudaro 3 in the Caucasus Mountains (in a disputed area of Georgia) show that Neanderthals there dined on salmon. Fish was also on the menu in southeastern France, at Abri du Maras, where analysis of the residue left on stone tools shows that Neanderthals also ate duck, rabbit, and possibly mushrooms. And when the meals were over, Neanderthals cleaned up with toothpicks that left grooves in their teeth found at Cova Foradà in Spain.

Neanderthals may have made for good dinner companions, but maybe not everything they ate accorded with modern tastes. Research published in 2012 shows that the tartar on Neanderthal teeth contains microfossils from a wide variety of plant foods and medicines (“Neanderthal Medicine Chest,”November/December 2012). But Laura Buck and Chris Stringer of London’s Natural History Museum suggest that Neanderthals may not have directly eaten these plants, but rather ate herbivores’ stomachs containing them. Before you make a face: “We know that many modern hunter-gatherers eat the stomach contents of their prey,” says Stringer. “The Inuit regarded this as a special treat.”

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A couple of days late..original post Jun 4, 2010
via 2,000-year old ‘icebox’ unearthed in NW China

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On this day( one day late) ten years ago…
via 12 fun facts in pickled history

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Eleven Myanmar.com

The Phnom Penh Post/ANN)—-Scientific test results of black rice fossils found in the basement of the Preah Ko temple site in Thala Barivat district, Stung Treng province late last year show that Cambodians have been cultivating and producing rice since the early Neolithic period.

The Neolithic age began around 12,000 years ago and ended as civilizations started to rise around 3500BCE.

In July last year, Thuy Chanthourn, the deputy director of the Institute of Arts and Culture of the Royal Academy of Cambodia and deputy president of the Cambodian Historians Association, brought the mysterious samples of black rice fossils from Preah Ko temple to the laboratory of the Australian National University (ANU) to conduct experiments to date the fossils.

With technical support from Rachel Wood, an archaeological and anthropological specialist at the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences, Chanthourn successfully examined the rice which has since become the earliest scientific dating of early rice cultivation in Cambodia.

“We have dated a rice seed sample which we cleaned with Scalpel and types of acid. We kept it for a while and then measured it with a special machine.

“Experimental results show that the black rice fossils date from about 900 years to 1,000 years ago. Therefore, this scientific experiment has unveiled the oldest example of rice production in Cambodia,” he said.

In addition to the new evidence, Chanthourn also presented results of other studies conducted on ancient rice husks at Banteay Kou Circular Earthwork sites, east of the Mekong River at the red plateau areas, a site dating to around 2,000BC.

“The rice husks and the evidence on the temple carvings show that in Cambodia, we had a lot of rice production in the Angkor period. The inscription also mentions rice gifts evidencing that rice was not only being cultivated but had cultural value,” he said.

Chanthourn’s study showed that rice has been the mainstay cereal of Southeast Asians since the Neolithic period.

Many varieties of rice seeds come from Asia, such as Indica and Japonica rice seeds – the same variety that originated from about 8,200 to 13,500 years ago in the Pearl River valley region of China.

The black rice fossils sampled at the ANU’s laboratory came from the Tuol Ang Khmao or Preah Ko Temple located in Kaing Techo village in Thala Barivat commune of the district, behind the old district hall, about 300m away. The wonder of this rice is not decayed in water and buried for hundreds of years.

According to research books of the Stung Treng Provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts, during French colonial era, black rice was so rich people would collect and scatter it on the ground to wish well to one another.

Thala Barivat natives have regarded the black rice sample used in the experiment as a cultural treasure left behind from the ancient ancestors since the construction of Preah Ko Temple.

The black rice is still referred to today as the ‘glorious rice’ locally.

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Cosmosmagazine.com

By Natalie Parletta

Ancient Mongolian kingdoms may have been more sophisticated than history has credited them for, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The paper presents evidence that their diets relied heavily on millet, indicative of complex economies that helped sustain their colossal expansion.

“Mongolia’s past empires have long been portrayed as groups of violent, horseback riders thought to be exceptions to the established ideals of what makes an ‘empire’,” says lead author Shevan Wilkin from the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

But their economies are poorly understood as extreme winds in the historic Mongolian landscape have blown away sedimentary evidence of human activity, thwarting archaeological explorations.

Wilkin and a multidisciplinary, international team used stable isotope analysis of fragmented teeth and rib bones of 137 previously excavated individuals who lived between 4500 BCE to beyond the Medieval Mongol empire (ca. 1300 AD) to shed light on their shifting diets through the millennia.

“This method uses the principal ‘you are what you eat’ to study how the biochemical signatures of people’s bones changed in response to changing diets,” she explains.

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Before empires emerged in the Bronze Age, animal products – meat and milk – from domestic and wild animals appear to have featured heavily on the menu of most people, with very little plant food such as domesticated millet.

However, the researchers found clear evidence of increasingly diverse diets including high consumption of millet or millet-based foods, showing “previously unseen shifts in diet” during the rise of the formidable Xiongnu and Mongol empires.

Combined with multiple lines of evidence from archives, ancient farming tools and grain botanic remains, the discovery suggests that, although the empires relied heavily on dairy pastoralism, they also exploited local and imported grains to maintain food surpluses, Wilkin says.

“Namely, instead of roving hordes, these empires were supported by pastoralists and farmers practising different subsistence strategies that provided strength in diversity.”

The evidence challenges popular theories that Mongolia represents a unique example of dense human populations and hierarchical political systems developing without intensive farming or stockpiling grains.

“Instead of being starkly different to other empires around the world,” says Wilkin, “this suggests that grain surpluses were also important to the Mongolian Empires that were seeking to support expanding territories and populations.”

Co-author Bryan Miller notes also that the evidence suggests they were like most empires.

“In this regard,” he says, “this study brings us one step closer to understanding the cultural processes that led humanity into the modern world.”

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Professor Oliver Craig sampling pottery Credit: Carl Heron

York.ac.uk

A new study shows that ancient Siberian hunters created heat resistant pots so that they could cook hot meals – surviving the harshest seasons of the ice age by extracting nutritious bone grease and marrow from meat.

The research – which was undertaken at the University of York – also suggests there was no single point of origin for the world’s oldest pottery.

Academics extracted and analysed ancient fats and lipids that had been preserved in pieces of ancient pottery – found at a number of sites on the Amur River in Russia – whose dates ranged between 16,000 and 12,000 years ago.

Potential

Professor Oliver Craig, Director of the BioArch Lab at the University of York, where the analysis was conducted, said: “This study illustrates the exciting potential of new methods in archaeological science: we can extract and interpret the remains of meals that were cooked in pots over 16,000 years ago.

“It is interesting that pottery emerges during these very cold periods, and not during the comparatively warmer interstadials when forest resources, such as game and nuts, were more available.”

Why these pots were first invented in the final stages of the last Ice Age has long been a mystery, as well as the kinds of food that were being prepared in them.

Climatic fluctuation

Researchers also examined pottery found from the Osipovka culture also on the Amur River. Analysis proved that pottery from there had been used to process fish, most likely migratory salmon, which offered local hunters an alternative food source during periods of major climatic fluctuation. An identical scenario was identified by the same research group in neighbouring islands of Japan.

The new study demonstrates that the world’s oldest clay cooking pots were being made in very different ways in different parts of Northeast Asia, indicating a “parallel” process of innovation, where separate groups that had no contact with each other started to move towards similar kinds of technological solutions in order to survive.

Lead author, Dr Shinya Shoda, of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Nara, Japan said:”We are very pleased with these latest results because they close a major gap in our understanding of why the world’s oldest pottery was invented in different parts of Northeast Asia in the Late Glacial Period, and also the contrasting ways in which it was being used by these ancient hunter-gatherers.

“There are some striking parallels with the way in which early pottery was used in Japan, but also some important differences that we had not expected. This leaves many new questions that we will follow up with future research.”

Origin point

Professor Peter Jordan, senior author of the study at the Arctic Centre and Groningen Institute of Archaeology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands said:”The insights are particularly interesting because they suggest that there was no single “origin point” for the world’s oldest pottery. We are starting to understand that very different pottery traditions were emerging around the same time but in different places, and that the pots were being used to process very different sets of resources.

“This appears to be a process of “parallel innovation” during a period of major climatic uncertainty, with separate communities facing common threats and reaching similar technological solutions.”

The last Ice Age reached its deepest point between 26,000 to 20,000 years ago, forcing humans to abandon northern regions, including large parts of Siberia. From around 19,000 years ago, temperatures slowly started to warm again, encouraging small bands of hunters to move back into these vast empty landscapes.

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On this day ten years ago…
via Meeting demand for Ancient Grains

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On this day ten years ago…
via Dogs First Tamed in China — To Be Food?

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