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Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

On this day ten years ago…
via The Funerary Feast of King Midas

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First posted Aug4, 2010…catching up
via Crocodile and Hippopotamus Served as ‘Brain Food’ for Early Human Ancestors

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First posted July 30, 2010
via Ancient Beehives Yield 3,000-Year-Old Bees

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First posted July 28, 2010
via Mesopotamia

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First posted July 23, 2010
via Egypt-Wine for the Afterlife

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Archaeology.org

Monday, June 29, 2020

HAIFA, ISRAEL—According to a Live Science report, an examination of the bones of lizards and snakes recovered from el-Wad Terrace, a cave near Mount Carmel in northern Israel, indicates that reptiles such as the legless European glass lizard and the large whip snake were eaten by members of the Natufian culture at the site between 15,000 and 11,500 years ago. The lizard and snake bones made up about one-third of the animal bones in the cave. Ma’ayan Lev of the University of Haifa said that finding butchery marks on such small bones can be difficult, especially when they have been weathered over a long period of time. Lev and her colleagues therefore experimented with the bones of modern lizards and snakes to identify signs of erosion, burning, trampling, and digestion by birds of prey, and then compared those marks with marks on the ancient remains. “The most surprising find was the butchery marks on several large whip snake vertebrae,” Lev said, adding that the marks were found in identical locations of different bones. These animals were likely eaten by humans, Lev said. The study also suggests the eastern Montpellier snake, the common viper, and other smaller lizards and snakes whose remains were found in the cave were likely eaten by raptors or died of other causes. To read about human consumption of a snake in southwest Texas 1,500 years ago, go to “Snake Snack.”

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On this day ten years ago…
via A Bit of Ancient Wine history

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York.ac.uk

Living specimen of the marine mollusc Conomurex fasciatus. Millions of these shells were found on the Farasan Islands in Saudi Arabia a as the food refuse of prehistoric fishers. Photo credit: Dr Niklas Hausmann

Prehistoric pioneers could have relied on shellfish to sustain them as they followed migratory routes out of Africa during times of drought, a new study suggests.

Living specimen of the marine mollusc Conomurex fasciatus. Millions of these shells were found on the Farasan Islands in Saudi Arabia as the food refuse of prehistoric fishers. Photo credit: Dr Niklas Hausmann

The study examined fossil reefs near to the now-submerged Red Sea shorelines that marked prehistoric migratory routes from Africa to Arabia. The findings suggest this coast offered the resources necessary to act as a gateway out of Africa during periods of little rainfall when other food sources were scarce.

The research team, led by the University of York, focused on the remains of 15,000 shells dating back 5,000 years to an arid period in the region. With the coastline of original migratory routes submerged by sea-level rise after the last Ice Age, the shells came from the nearby Farasan Islands in Saudi Arabia.

Plentiful

The researchers found that populations of marine mollusks were plentiful enough to allow continuous harvests without any major ecological impacts and their availability would have enabled people to live through times of drought.

Lead author, Dr Niklas Hausmann, Associate Researcher at the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, said: “The availability of food resources plays an important role in understanding the feasibility of past human migrations – hunter-gatherer migrations would have required local food sources and periods of aridity could therefore have restricted these movements.

“Our study suggests that Red Sea shorelines had the resources necessary to provide a passage for prehistoric people.”

Healthy population

The study also confirms that communities settled on the shorelines of the Red Sea could have relied on shellfish as a sustainable food resource all year round.

Dr Hausmann added: “Our data shows that at a time when many other resources on land were scarce, people could rely on their locally available shellfish. Previous studies have shown that people of the southern Red Sea ate shellfish year-round and over periods of thousands of years. We now also know that this resource was not depleted by them, but shellfish continued to maintain a healthy population.”

Fossil reefs

The shellfish species found in the archaeological sites on the Farasan Islands were also found in abundance in fossil reefs dating to over 100 thousand years ago, indicating that these shellfish have been an available resource over longer periods than archaeological sites previously suggested.

Co-author of the study, Matthew Meredith-Williams, from La Trobe University, said: “We know that modelling past climates to learn about food resources is extremely helpful, but we need to differentiate between what is happening on land and what is happening in the water. In our study we show that marine foods were abundant and resilient and being gathered by people when they couldn’t rely on terrestrial food.”

 

 

 

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On this day( one day late) ten years ago…

the link no longer works but it’s still a n interesting read.
via Mysterious Desert Lines Were Animal Traps

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On this day ten years ago…
via A 200,000-Year-Old Cut of Meat

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