Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘North America’ Category

On this day ten years ago…
via Victoria suburb yields 850 BC archeological site

Read Full Post »

On this day ten years ago…
via Native Americans First Tamed Turkeys 2,000 Years Ago

Read Full Post »

On this day ten years ago…
via The impact of the diffusion of maize to the Southwestern United States

Read Full Post »

MSN.com

Earlier this week, the Cherokee Nation started to distribute its supply of heirloom seeds, which are free to any Cherokee. Last year, the Cherokee Nation Heirloom Garden and Native Plant Site distributed almost 10,000 packets of seeds to any Cherokee citizen who requested them. This seed bank was established in February 2006, and the number of participants who register to receive their two crops has steadily increased every February—although 2019 was its biggest year to date.

a person that is standing in the snow: A man carries one of the newly arrived boxes containing seeds from Japan and USA into the international gene bank Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV), outside Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, Norway, on March 1, 2016.© JUNGE, HEIKO/AFP via Getty Images A man carries one of the newly arrived boxes containing seeds… (more…)

Read Full Post »

On this dat( for Feb 26 ) ten years ago
via First Traces of Chocolate Found in Ancient Ruins on US/Mexico Border

Read Full Post »

On this day ten years ago..

via Ancient Rock Piles Reveal Early American Cuisine

Read Full Post »

On this day ten years ago…
via Grand Canyon archaeologists surprised at findings

Read Full Post »

On this day ten years ago…
via Hidden Caribou-Hunting Civilization Found Under Lake Huron

Read Full Post »

An ancient bowl found at La Consentida, Mexico Credit: Shanti Morell-Hart

Phys.org

New research from anthropologists at McMaster University and California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), is shedding light on ancient dietary practices, the evolution of agricultural societies and ultimately, how plants have become an important element of the modern diet.

Researchers examined plant remains found on ceramic artifacts such as bowls, bottles and jars, and such as blades and drills, dating to the Early Formative period (2000-1000 BCE), which were excavated from the village site of La Consentida, located in the coastal region of Oaxaca in southwest Mexico.

They focused on remnants of starch grains, which are where plants store energy, and phytoliths, also known as ‘microfossils,’ a rigid, microscopic structure made of which is produced by plants and can survive the decay process. Both types of microbotanical remains are routinely recovered from artifacts to analyze ancient foodways.

A careful analysis found the remains of flowering plants, wild bean families and grasses, including maize. The findings support existing evidence that the village was transitioning from a broad, Archaic period (7000-2000 BCE) diet to one based on agriculture.

“This is an important piece of the puzzle. The work provides us with a better idea of how became cultivated and how they made their way to our plates,” explains Éloi Bérubé, a in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University, who conducted the work with advisor Shanti Morell-Hart, an assistant professor of anthropology.

“It gives us a more complete understanding of the daily activities that played a significant role in ancient societies,” he says.

For example, researchers found maize pointing to the storage and processing of different parts of the plant, as well as indications of heat damage, likely caused by cooking. Evidence of maize and wild beans was also found in artifacts used for burial offerings.

“The Early Formative was a key moment of social transformation for native peoples of Mesoamerica,” says Guy Hepp, director of the La Consentida Archaeological Project and assistant professor of anthropology at CSUSB. “La Consentida was among Mesoamerica’s earliest villages, and these new dietary results help us better understand some of the changes the community was experiencing, including a shift toward permanent settlements and the beginnings of social complexity.”

Combined with other evidence from the site, including variations in burial offerings and the diversity of human depictions in small-scale ceramic figurines, this study suggests that the community was in the early stages of establishing a complex social organization.

The artifacts considered for the study come from a variety of contexts at La Consentida, including mounded earthen architecture, the spaces around ancient houses, and even human burials.

Pottery from the site includes jars used in domestic and communal cooking events and likely also for storage. Some of the jars were later reused as offerings with human burials. Decorative bowls were likely used for serving foods at communal feasts. Ceramic bottles, also found in feasting refuse, likely held beverages brewed from maize and possibly even cacao.



More information: Éloi Bérubé et al, Paleoethnobotanical evidence of Early Formative period diet in coastal Oaxaca, Mexico, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.102047

 

Read Full Post »

Heritagedaily.com

Scientists have reconstructed the cooking techniques of the early inhabitants of Puerto Rico by analysing the remains of clams.

 

Led by Philip Staudigel, who conducted the analysis as a graduate student at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Cardiff University, the team has used new chemical analysis techniques to identify the exact cooking temperatures at which clams were cooked over 2500 years ago.

With cooking temperatures getting up to around 200oC according to the new analysis, the team believe the early Puerto Ricans were partial to a barbeque rather than boiling their food as a soup.

The study, which also involved academics from the University of Miami and Valencia College, has been published today in the journal Science Advances.

Whilst the results throw new light on the cultural practices of the first communities to arrive on the island of Puerto Rico, they also provide at least circumstantial evidence that ceramic pottery technology was not widespread during this period of history – it’s likely that this would be the only way in which the clams could have been boiled.

Lead author of the study Dr Philip Staudigel, currently at Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: “Much of peoples’ identity draws upon on where they came from, one of the most profound expressions of this is in cooking. We learn to cook from our parents, who learned from their parents.

“In many parts of the world, written records extend back thousands of years, which often includes recipes. This is not the case in the Caribbean, as there were no written texts, except for petroglyphs. By learning more about how ancient Puerto Rican natives cooked their meals, we can relate to these long-gone peoples through their food.”

In their study, the team analysed over 20kg of fossilised clam shells at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Stable Isotope Lab, which were collected from an archaeological site in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

The pre-Arawak population of Puerto Rico were the first inhabitants of the island, arriving sometime before 3000 BC, and came from Central and/or South America. They existed primarily from fishing, hunting, and gathering near the mangrove swamps and coastal areas where they had settled.

The fossilised shells, dating back to around 700 BC, were cleaned and turned into a powder, which was then analysed to determine its mineralogy, as well as the abundance of specific chemical bonds in the sample.

When certain minerals are heated, the bonds between atoms in the mineral can rearrange themselves, which can then be measured in the lab. The amount of rearrangement is proportional to the temperature the mineral is heated.

This technique, known as clumped isotope geochemistry, is often used to determine the temperature an organism formed at but in this instance was used to reconstruct the temperature at which the clams were cooked.

The abundance of bonds in the powdered fossils was then compared to clams which were cooked at known temperatures, as well as uncooked modern clams collected from a nearby beach.

Results showed that that the majority of clams were heated to temperatures greater than 100°C – the boiling point of water – but no greater than 200°C. The results also revealed a disparity between the cooking temperature of different clams, which the researchers believe could be associated with a grilling technique in which the clams are heated from below, meaning the ones at the bottom were heated more than the ones at the top.

“The clams from the archaeological site appeared to be most similar to clams which had been barbequed,” continued Dr Staudigel.

“Ancient Puerto Ricans didn’t use cookbooks, at least none that lasted to the present day. The only way we have of knowing how our ancestors cooked is to study what they left behind. Here, we demonstrated that a relatively new technique can be used to learn what temperature they cooked at, which is one important detail of the cooking process.”

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: