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Large pithoi found at Tel Kabri, in what appears to be one of four (maybe five) storage rooms Credit .Eric Cline

Large pithoi found at Tel Kabri, in what appears to be one of four (maybe five) storage rooms Credit .Eric Cline

 

Tel Kabri, the 4,000-year old remains of a Canaanite palace that is more like ones found at Knossos and Mari than the Levant. (Photo: Griffin Aerial Imaging/Skyview Photography)

Tel Kabri, the 4,000-year old remains of a Canaanite palace that is more like ones found at Knossos and Mari than the Levant. (Photo: Griffin Aerial Imaging/Skyview Photography)

 

Original Article:

Haaretz.con

Julia Fridman Jul 28, 2015 2:25 PM

 

New findings at sprawling 4,000-year old Canaanite palace include 120 huge jars – and seeds, from which we may be able to rediscover the ancient grape.

What may be the biggest concentration of storage jars in ancient Canaan has been uncovered at the Tel Kabri palatial complex in northern Israel, dating about 4,000 years ago.
A room full of clay storage jars, dubbed the “wine cellar,” had been found there in the last season. Now the latest excavation season at the site, located in an avocado orchard in the north just five kilometers from the Mediterranean coast, has uncovered three more rooms containing no less than about 70 storage jars.
Altogether, the excavators say, they uncovered at least 120 restorable jars still in situ in four storage rooms in the southern storage area of the palace (including pieces found in the last seasons). They may have also found a fifth storage room in a different building complex located to the northwest. “The rooms have not all been fully excavated,” points out Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa: the number will probably double when that’s done, he adds.
All the jars are undergoing organic residue analysis in order to determine their contents, the excavators told Haaretz. Residue analysis of the jars found in the first storage room during the previous excavation season showed they had contained an aromatic red wine.
Original Canaanite grapes
We don’t know who lived at the Tel Kabri palace, which is a vast 6,000 square meters in area, let alone what the place was called at the time – not a shred of written evidence has been found there. We do know that the palace was inhabited continuously for over 250 years, from about 1850 BCE to the 1600s BCE, and that it featured multiple banquet rooms and halls.
The palace at Tel Kabri is unique in the Levant for this period, and appears to have more affinities to the Aegean than to anything in the more immediate area. It is most similar to the massive palace of Knossos in Crete although a similar palace was found at Mari as well.
The palace at Kabri was a sprawling place with rooms constantly being added to it over the years. The ruler would have lived inside and his subjects would have lived outside, coming to the palace for special occasions like feasts, or to pay taxes or tribute. 
Absent findings of writing at the site, its history is being “glued together” through excavations by Yasur-Landau and Eric H. Cline of George Washington University.

“The goal of this season was to further understand the Canaanite palatial economy, by expanding the excavation beyond the area where the jars were found last season. We were hoping to find additional store rooms, thinking about the palace of Mari and the palaces in Crete from the same period – but to find ones that are actually filled with jars was unexpected,” says Yassur-Landau. “This kind of a find is a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn about Canaanite economy and rulership.”
It now looks like the ‘wine cellar’ was actually the northernmost room in a storage complex with at least four rooms in a row.
It can also now be said that the storage rooms had plastered floors and contained a range of types of jars. For example, room 2520 had pithoi (handleless storage jars) of two types, one around one meter tall and smaller, more slender pithoi, up to 80 centimeters in height.
In the center of room 2520, the excavators also found a juglet, two shallow bowls, and a chalice, crushed under the weight of a fallen pithos.
Palatial economy
Another unusual find was the middle of room 2533: an installation made of a sunken half of a pithos, still intact, still holding grape seed remnants, as well as pieces of charcoal. The installation appears to have been used to collect liquids spilled in the room.
This particular room had the biggest amount of crushed jars and pithoi, apparently more than 50 jars of various types.
The grape seeds are an incredible find. Not only can they help date the site: their analysis can help us rediscover the original Canaanite grape.
The grapes grown in Israel today are very tasty, but they’re strains brought by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild in the late 19th century. The famed wine industry of the Levant, which had existed for millennia, had been wiped out during Islamic rule of the region, starting in the 7th century CE.
Last season the excavators tested the substance found in the large jars from the first storage room and found, as said, evidence of spiced wine.
“This season yielded 80 organic residue analysis (ORA) samples taken from approximately 70 unique vessels,” says Yassur-Landau. “Last season’s samples were taken from large storage vessels that proved to have contained spiced wine but the 80 samples from this season were more varied, including smaller storage jars with handles possibly used for transport and a larger assortment of fine ware.”
The samples will further the understanding of Canaanite eating habits and augment our understanding of the economy of the time, the archaeologists hope.
“Finding these additional storerooms and the tremendous additional number of jars is wonderful, since it clearly indicates that we are in the storage area of the palace and that it was substantial, and composed of numerous rooms,” Cline commented. “I am eagerly awaiting the results of the Organic Residue Analysis from the jars, so we can see if they also held wine, like the ones that we found in 2013, or if they held something else like olive oil.”

 

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Ohalo II site, near the Sea of Galilee

Hunter-Gatherer site recreated, Ohalo II

 

PUBLIC RELEASE: 22-JUL-2015

BAR-ILAN UNIVRSITY

Original Article 

Eurekalert.org

Earliest-known example of plant cultivation in the Levant is 11,000 years before earliest-known agriculture

The Middle East is called the “Cradle of Civilization” because it is where our hunter-gatherer ancestors first established sedentary farming communities. Recently, the traditional dating of humans’ first agricultural attempt was shaken up by the discovery of the earliest-known example of plant cultivation in the Levant, 11,000 years earlier than previously accepted.

The team of archaeologists, botanists, and ecologists from Bar-Ilan University, Haifa University, Tel Aviv University, and Harvard University published their work in the scientific journal Plos One on July 22, 2015. The team’s conclusions rest on three inter-connected findings, says the study’s lead researcher, Prof. Ehud Weiss of Bar-Ilan University’s Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology. First is the higher-than-usual presence at the site of domestic-type, rather than wild-type, wheat and barley dispersal units. Second, the researchers noted a high concentration of proto-weeds – plants of the type known to flourish in fields planted with domesticated crops. Finally, analysis of the tools found at the site revealed blades used for cutting and harvesting cereal plants.

First author is Dr. Ainit Snir, part of whose doctoral research – conducted in Prof. Weiss’ lab – is included in the present study.

An Agricultural “Time Capsule” Hidden Under the Sea

The researchers’ discovery was made at Ohalo II, a 23,000-year-old camp site of a community of hunter-gatherers that lived on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Israel. The site is located 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) south of the modern city of Tiberias, and was discovered in 1989 when the level of the lake plummeted. The site was then excavated for six seasons by Prof. Dani Nadel from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, the University of Haifa. Excavations at Ohalo II exposed six brush hut dwellings, a human grave, copious and well-preserved remains of both animal and plant foods, beads from the Mediterranean Sea, as well as evidence of flint tool manufacture and use.

According to Weiss, the study represents the earliest example of small-scale cultivation found anywhere in the world.

“The plant remains from the site were unusually well-preserved because of being charred and then covered by sediment and water which sealed them in low-oxygen conditions,” Weiss explains. “Due to this, it was possible to recover an extensive amount of information on the site and its inhabitants – which made this a uniquely preserved site, and therefore one of the best archaeological examples worldwide of hunter-gatherers’ way of life. Here we see evidence of repeated sowing and harvesting of later domesticated cereals.”

From Plant Gathering to Flour Production

In the Ohalo II dwellings was a particularly rich assemblage of some 150,000 plant remains, showing that the site’s residents gathered over 140 different plant species from the surrounding environment. Among these, Weiss’s team identified edible cereals – such as wild emmer, wild barley, and wild oats. These cereals were mixed with 13 species of “proto-weeds” – ancient ancestors of the current weeds known to flourish in cultivated, single-crop fields – indicating that they grew and were subsequently unintentionally gathered together.

A grinding slab set firmly on a brush hut floor, a stone tool from which microscopic cereal starch granules were extracted, as well as a unique distribution pattern of seeds around this tool, provided additional, unequivocal evidence that cereal grains were brought into the hut and processed into flour. This flour was probably used to make dough, maybe by baking it on an installation of flat stones, found just outside one of the shelters.

Plants’ Statistics Show Genetic Change Linked with Cultivation

Examination of the cereals found at the site shows an unusual percentage of domesticated-type, rather than wild-type, ear morphology. As Weiss explains, this change in the plant population is characteristic of a genetic mutation triggered when wild-type plants are sown repeatedly in cultivated fields.

“The ears of cereals like wheat and barley – in their wild form – are built from separate units that break off and are easily dispersed, allowing the seeds to reach the ground, germinate, and grow into a new plant without any human intervention,” he says. “When humans cultivate these grains over a number of successive seasons, however, a change occurs. They develop a rough scar that locks the seed dispersal units together. Such plants cannot sow themselves. This is the hallmark of domesticated, rather than wild-type plants.”

As part of Snir’s thesis, Weiss and Snir undertook field tests around Israel, establishing that stands of wild-type barley are characterized by a low level of this rough-scar appearance – about 10% of the total population. The study of Ohalo II’s plant remains, however, revealed a greatly-increased incidence of 36% mutated domestic-type disarticulation units – proving that planned cereal sowing and harvesting in this ancient community had been underway for years.

Tools for Harvesting

Another intriguing finding relates to a number of sickle blades – harvesting tools composed of sharp flint implements inserted in wood or bone handles – found at the site; these are among the oldest of their kind ever found.

“We found several sickle blades at Ohalo II, and the study under the microscope of the gloss along their cutting edge indicates that they were used for harvesting cereals just before their complete ripening,” says Prof. Dani Nadel. “Analysis showed the presence of silicon, transferred from the wheat and barley plants at the time of cutting. This is another indication that the presence of a high percentage of domestic-type cereals was not random, but rather is a sign of the long-term cultivation practices of the site’s residents.”

Weeds and Planted Fields

When studying the plants found at Ohalo II, the researchers were surprised to find a large number of plants similar to weeds previously seen only 11,000 years later than Ohalo II, at the traditional date for the beginning of agriculture. Does this indicate that agriculture indeed began much earlier than historians, archaeologists and botanists have traditionally believed? Weiss says that the isolated example on the shores of the Sea of Galilee is an insufficient basis for such a claim.

“From what we see at Ohalo II, it is clear that cultivation occurred at this surprisingly early point in time, but we have no evidence that it continued in the region,” Weiss says. “This is why we term our findings to be evidence of trial cultivation only. Moreover, since weeds are defined by botanists as plants that developed in response to human agriculture, we call the plants that share characteristics with weeds ‘proto-weeds’.”

A Trial that Preceded Later-Adopted Practice

Prof. Marcelo Sternberg, a co-author of the paper who is an ecologist at the Department of Molecular Biology and Ecology of Plants at Tel Aviv University, claims that the findings are exceptional. “We are witnessing the earliest trial of cultivation combined with land-use changes that led to the appearance of the earliest weeds. The findings are a clear indication of early human disturbance of the natural ecosystem.”

Weiss agrees, adding that the current study provides reason to rethink our ancestors’ abilities. “Even prior to full-scale cultivation, humans clearly had some basic knowledge of agriculture and even more importantly, exhibited foresight and planning,” Weiss says. “The current research results from this site, situated in the cradle of ancient civilizations, show our ancestors were cleverer and more skilled than we had assumed. Although full-scale agriculture did not develop until much later, the attempt had already begun.”

Paper co-author Prof. Ofer Bar-Yosef, a prehistorian from Harvard University’s Department of Anthropology, notes that “the history of the evolution of technology is littered with new inventions that were either not accepted by their society or simply failed. An historical example is Leonardo da Vinci, who, in his notebooks, designed several flying machines during the early 15th century. Even though da Vinci was on the right track, we had to wait until the 19th century before the Wright brothers got their first plane off the ground.”

 

 

 

 

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Lee Perry Gal measures chicken long bones at the zooarchaeology lab, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa.

 

Original Article

By DANIEL CHARLES • JUL 20, 2015

 

An ancient, abandoned city in Israel has revealed part of the story of how the chicken turned into one of the pillars of the modern Western diet.

The city, now an archaeological site, is called Maresha. It flourished in the Hellenistic period from 400 to 200 BCE.

“The site is located on a trade route between Jerusalem and Egypt,” says Lee Perry-Gal, a doctoral student in the department of archaeology at the University of Haifa. As a result, it was a meeting place of cultures, “like New York City,” she says.

Not too long ago, the archaeologists unearthed something unusual: a collection of chicken bones.

“This was very, very surprising,” says Perry-Gal.

The surprising thing was not that chickens lived here. There’s evidence that humans have kept chickens around for thousands of years, starting in Southeast Asia and China.

But those older sites contained just a few scattered chicken bones. People were raising those chickens for cockfighting, or for special ceremonies. The birds apparently weren’t considered much of a food.

In Maresha, though, something changed.

The site contained more than a thousand chicken bones. “They were very, very well-preserved,” says Perry-Gal, whose findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Perry-Gal could see knife marks on them from butchering. There were twice as many bones from female birds as male. These chickens apparently were being raised for their meat, not for cockfighting.

Perry-Gal says there could be a couple of reasons why the people of Maresha decided to eat chickens.

Maybe, in the dry Mediterranean climate, people learned better how to raise large numbers of chickens in captivity. Maybe the chickens evolved, physically, and became more attractive as food.

But Perry-Gal thinks that part of it must have been a shift in the way people thought about food. “This is a matter of culture,” she says. “You have to decide that you are eating chicken from now on.”

In the history of human cuisine, Maresha may mark a turning point.

Barely a century later, the Romans starting spreading the chicken-eating habit across their empire. “From this point on, we see chicken everywhere in Europe,” Perry-Gal says. “We see a bigger and bigger percent of chicken. It’s like a new cellphone. We see it everywhere.”

Chicken-eating really is everywhere today. It’s the most commonly eaten meat in America. Globally, it’s second behind pork, but it’s catching up fast. Within five years, humans will probably eat more chicken than any other meat.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

An ancient abandoned city in Israel has revealed a clue as to how chicken became one of the pillars of the human diet. The clue is a collection of bones. Apparently, they are leftovers from a 2000-year-old version of KFC. NPR’s Dan Charles reports.

DAN CHARLES, BYLINE: In southern Israel, archaeologists have been excavating a city called Maresha, unearthing pieces of Greek civilization from 2,400 years ago. Lee Perry-Gal, a doctoral student of archeology at the University of Haifa, says Maresha was a meeting place of cultures.

LEE PERRY-GAL: The site itself is located on a trade route between Jerusalem and Egypt.

CHARLES: And recently, according to a report just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the archaeologists found something unusual here – chicken bones.

PERRY-GAL: This was very, very surprising.

CHARLES: The surprising thing was not that chickens lived there. Humans have kept chickens around for thousands of years, starting in Southeast Asia and China, but not, curiously, for their meat or their eggs. People were raising those birds for cockfighting or for special ceremonies, and they left behind just a few bones for the archaeologists. Here in Maresha, on the Mediterranean trade route, something changed. This site contained more than a thousand bones.

PERRY-GAL: They were very well preserved. They were extremely preserved.

CHARLES: Perry-Gal could see butchering marks on them. These chickens apparently were being raised for their meat. People were eating their eggs too. She says there could be a couple of reasons why. Maybe in the dry Mediterranean climate, people learned better how to raise large numbers of chickens in captivity. Maybe the chickens evolved physically and became more attractive as food. But Perry-Gal thinks part of it must’ve been a shift in people’s ideas and customs.

PERRY-GAL: It’s a matter of culture. You have to decide that you’re eating chicken from now on.

CHARLES: In the history of Western cuisine, Maresha appears to mark a turning point. A century later, the chicken-eating habit began spreading across the Roman Empire.

PERRY-GAL: From this point on, we see chicken everywhere in Europe. We see a bigger and bigger percent of chicken. It’s like a new cell phone, you know? You see it everywhere.

CHARLES: Today, of course, chicken-eating really is everywhere. It’s the most commonly eaten meat in America. Globally, it’s second, behind pork, but it’s rapidly catching up. Within five years, humans will probably eat more chicken than any other meat. Dan Charles, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

 

Since my absence many articles on ancient foods have piled up on my desk. I shall endeavor to get to them all starting with last August and working my way forward to the present.

Thank you. JLP

20130515-120149.jpg

The above photo is from my library, J LP

Original Article in The Huffington Post

 By Jacqueline Howard
Posted: 07/10/2015

What was the culinary experience like for our prehistoric forebears?

No one knows for sure. But a provocative new study suggests that any meat our distant ancestors scavenged would have been teeming with harmful bacteria.

What’s more, the study suggests, early hominins would have had trouble avoiding food-borne illness unless they cooked the carrion or opted to consume bone marrow rather than flesh.

“Some would argue the archaeological record indicates that meat was scavenged before the earliest accepted dates of controlled fire-use, but our research suggests that cooking might be more ancient,” Alex Smith, the study’s lead author and a researcher in Harvard University’s department of human evolutionary biology, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Most scientists agree that cooking dates back about 1.9 million years.

To take a closer look at the possible link between scavenging and cooking, the researchers measured the growth of bacteria on raw boar meat and bone marrow over a 24-hour period and how effectively roasting the meat eliminated the bacteria.

What did the researchers find?

The number of bacteria on the raw meat spiked to potentially dangerous levels within 24 hours, but roasting the meat over hot coals killed most of the bacteria. As for the bone marrow, fewer bacteria grew on it than on the meat, which suggests that it would have been somewhat safer to eat than meat.

“The accumulation of bacteria on exposed tissue and the reduction of this bacterial load via cooking were not surprising findings,” Smith said in the email. “What is surprising is that two processes known to influence the biological value of food (bacterial decomposition and cooking) are often absent from discussions about hominin scavenging ecology… We hope this research brings the importance of cooking and its effects to discussions on early hominin carnivory.”

A paper describing the research was published in the July 2015 edition of the Journal of Human Evolution.

 

 

 

2015 in review

Greetings everyone and Happy New Year! I know I’ve been away a long while, but I see that even with my absence my blog has continued to provide you with material to read, perchance to use as reference.

Thank you for your support and interest, now to my annual report for 2015 and manny, many new posts for 2016!

Joanna

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

1297722397011_ORIGINAL

MITCHELL, S.D. — Archaeologists in the northwestern state of South Dakota have uncovered corn cobs, corn kernels and sunflower kernels that are over 1,000 years old.

Officials say the discoveries at the Prehistoric Indian Village in Mitchell show that people who lived in the region at the time farmed and had a diverse diet.

The village is an active archaeological site and open to the public. Students from the University of Exeter in England and Augustana College in Sioux Falls work every year at the site that holds dual status as a National Register and National Historic Landmark site.

Augustana archaeology professor Adrien Hannus told The Daily Republic that the new discoveries indicate the village dwellers weren’t exactly primitive. He says it was a successful village of farmers, hunters and foragers.

Posted July 9, 2015

TorontoSun

I just discovered the article from The Daily Republic, with more information:

Each year, something new is uncovered at the Thomsen Center Archeodome at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.

Researchers working the archaeological site along Lake Mitchell have discovered troves of small, charred kernels of corn and sunflowers, each only a few millimeters wide, that remain intact more than 1,000 years after people lived in the area along Firesteel Creek. Researchers have also found corn cobs, which they say show how much agriculture has changed, and affirms that people of the region had a diverse diet.

The findings are significant for those investing their time and resources into the Mitchell site. Alan Outram, who is in his 12th year bringing students from the University of Exeter, in England, to partner with Augustana College students, said the team has found as much carbonized plant matter in the last two weeks than from the last 11 years.

“Of course, it’s important to this area,” he said. “The thing is, this is an agricultural area and this is the history of that agriculture.”

Augustana College Professor of Archeology Adrien Hannus, who serves as the project director at the site, said when the archeodome was being built and finished in 1999, they got an idea of where the best deposits would be. That hinted to Hannus that they would get a good look at the way of life for the American Indians who settled in the area.

“It showed at the time that there was probably 12 feet there, and we’re really just scratching the surface,” Hannus said. “This village isn’t the origin of prehistoric agriculture, but it is one of the key sites in understanding what was done here.”

The discovery was made through cache pits, which were large holes used to store things like food and tools. When the people who used them discovered they were not ideal for keeping food, they turned them into trash receptacles. In those pits, archeological students have also found broken pottery pieces and other items.

In this part of the country, Hannus said, the prehistoric pits would have a wide opening and then would belly out at the bottom, sometimes 4 to 5 feet deep. They would be capped with clay and ash, because insects such as beatles can’t survive climbing through ash, according to researchers. Until this year, Thomsen Center Archeodome researchers had never found a cache pit with an unbroken clay and ash cap.

As for the corn findings, the longest cobs are about the size of an adult finger. Hannus said the people of that time were either roasting or boiling the entire cob, and Outram said they show the growth of corn crops since that time.

“They tell us a lot about these strains of plants have changed over time,” he said. “They’re a lot smaller. You can see that the corn kernels are about the same size, but the cobs were a lot smaller and there were a lot fewer kernels on the cobs.”

The charring helped to preserve the seeds, Outram said. Otherwise, that seed might have grown out of the ground over time.

“For a 1,000-year-old seed, they’re very nicely preserved,” he said. “But they’re only preserved because they’re charred.”

Hannus said the findings reiterate that the American Indians of the area—about 200 to 250 of them at the site at any one time—had a complex diet and weren’t exactly a primitive people.

“I guess the real positive story is that we know this was a successful village of farmers, hunters, foragers; they collected fish and wildlife; they hunted bison and deer and smaller mammals,” he said. “This wasn’t a starvation story here. It’s a story about a very vital, alive group of people who lived here.”

Hannus has worked at the site for last 31 years, and says the parallels with modern South Dakota are still evident.

“I keep trying to convince people that are visiting, this is not some kind of bizarre, alien culture,” he said. “This isn’t something that people should not be able to relate to. You’ve got small, rural towns in South Dakota right now, today, that are functioning not much differently than the people did then.”

Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village Executive Director Cindy Gregg agreed with the researchers, saying if the average person was dropped in the Amazon, “they would be considered primitive, too,” she said.

The 18 students, who are from the U.S., England, Ireland, Russia and Spain, are about 60 percent complete with their time at the site this year and will be in Mitchell through July 16.

The discoveries come on the cusp of the village’s biggest event of the year, Archeology Awareness Days, which is this Saturday and Sunday. Primitive technologists from around the country will be here and demonstrating the skills used more than 1,000 years ago. There will also be summer Lakota Games and cultural programs.

“We’ve had our most productive dig season in the 12 years we’ve been doing this,” Gregg said. “This is an exciting time for us.”

mitchellrepublic.com

  
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

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