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original article: dailysabah.com

Archaeologists seek clues of the culinary culture and eating habits of the Lydians in the excavations of the ancient city of Daskyleion, located on the shores of Lake Manyas in the Bandırma district of western Balıkesir province, using various dental tools.

The excavation team, headed by Kaan Iren – a lecturer at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Faculty of Letters Archaeology Department – continue their work in and around the 2,600-year-old kitchen structure found three years ago in Daskyleion. The team prefers small, sensitive instruments used in dentistry such as forceps and spatulas. With these tools, delicate finds such as pottery, fish spines, seeds and plant remains that have not been destroyed and remained intact can be carefully removed.

Iren told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they named the section where the Lydian kitchen is found “Akro Daskyleion.”

Stating that a Lydian palace was destroyed by a fire and the kitchen was affected by this, Iren said, “Our research and excavations have been continuing in this kitchen for years, without skipping any data. We continue our work by slowly digging with very sensitive tools, fine brushes and needles and documenting all data.”

Büşra Atalar Yeter, a postgraduate in charge of the Lydian kitchen excavation team, said that they investigated the relationship between the kitchen structure and other areas during their work this year. Stating that they had revealed places that could be cellars, according to their research, Atalar said: “We found burned mud brick blocks in these areas. These probably belong to a cellar destroyed by a collapsed wall because we obtained various bones and different types of seeds from the surrounding area.”

“In order to preserve the data, we have analyzed our work in detail and meticulously. Therefore, we continue to work with small dental tools,” she added.

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Original article: eurekalert.org

Long-held eating habits beliefs debunked

UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO

23-Jul-2021

Long-held eating habits beliefs debunked

New research from the University of Otago debunks a long-held belief about our ancestors’ eating habits.

For more than 60 years, researchers have believed Paranthropus, a close fossil relative of ours which lived about one to three million years ago, evolved massive back teeth to consume hard food items such as seeds and nuts, while our own direct ancestors, the genus Homo, is thought to have evolved smaller teeth due to eating softer food such as cooked food and meats. 

However, after travelling to several large institutes and museums in South Africa, Japan and the United Kingdom and studying tooth fractures in more than 20,000 teeth of fossil and living primate species, Dr Ian Towle, an Otago biological anthropologist, working with Dr Carolina Loch, of the Faculty of Dentistry, says this “neat picture is far more complex than once thought”.

“By individually studying each tooth and recording the position and size of any tooth fractures, we show tooth chipping does not support regular hard food eating in Paranthropus robustus, therefore potentially putting an end to the argument that this group as a whole were hard food eaters,” he says.

Dr Towle says the findings challenge our understanding of dietary and behavioural changes during human evolution.

“The results are surprising, with human fossils so far studied – those in our own genus Homo – showing extremely high rates of tooth fractures, similar to living hard object eating primates, yet Paranthropus show extremely low levels of fracture, similar to primates that eat soft fruits or leaves.

“Although in recent years there has been a slow acceptance that another species of Paranthropus, Paranthropus boisei, found in East Africa, was unlikely to have regularly eaten hard foods, the notion that Paranthropus evolved their large dental apparatus to eat hard foods has persisted. Therefore, this research can be seen as the final nail in the coffin of Paranthropus as hard object feeders.”

The fact that humans show such contrasting chipping patterns is equally significant and will have “knock on” effects for further research, particularly research on dietary changes during human evolution, and why the human dentition has evolved the way it has, he says. 

“The regular tooth fractures in fossil humans may be caused by non-food items, such as grit or stone tools. However, regardless of the cause, these groups were subjected to substantial tooth wear and fractures. So, it raises questions to why our teeth reduced in size, especially compared to groups like Paranthropus.”

Dr Towle’s research will now focus on if our dentition evolved smaller due to other factors to allow other parts of the skull to expand, leading to evolution then favouring other tooth properties to protect it against wear and fracture, instead of increased tooth size. 

“This is something we are investigating now, to see if tooth enamel may have evolved different characteristics among the great apes. Our research as a whole may also have implications for our understanding of oral health, since fossil human samples typically show immaculate dental health.

“Since extreme tooth wear and fractures were the norm, our ancestors likely evolved dental characteristics to not just cope with but actually utilise this dental tissue loss. For example, without substantial tooth wear our dentitions can face all sorts of issues, including impacted wisdom teeth, tooth crowding and even increased susceptibility to cavities.”

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Paranthropus robustus tooth chipping patterns do not support regular hard food mastication, co-authored by Dr Towle and Dr Loch, was published in the Journal of Human Evolution.

Tooth chipping prevalence and pattern in extant primates, co-authored by Dr Towle and Dr Loch was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Chipping and wear patterns in extant primate and fossil hominin molars: ‘Functional’ cusps are associated with extensive wear but low levels of fracture, co-authored by Dr Towle and Dr Loch was published in the Journal of Human Evolution.

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20130605-113252.jpg

Topic: ancient occupation

Prof Veth says the team will also be looking for evidence of any continuing Aboriginal presence between that time and the next known occupation, a 19th century pearling camp. Image: Mushroom Bay, Barrow Island, neomyrtusA NEW archaeological survey will investigate human occupation sites at Barrow Island, from the time it was joined to the mainland between seven and eight thousand years ago.

UWA Archaeologist Professor Peter Veth, who has excavated ancient archaeological sites in the Monte Bello Islands over the past two decades, says Barrow Island is the next logical place to look for sites of human occupation that probably ended as sea levels rose.

“We’d been looking at the opportunity for recovering drowned paleo-landscapes and sites for a long time,” he says.

“You look offshore and you are going to get islands which were once part of the mainland and they register oceanic sea level fluctuations, changing maritime systems, a whole range of configurations of faunas, human economies, behaviours which won’t be the same as those on the retracted mainland today.”

Prof Veth says the team will also be looking for evidence of any continuing Aboriginal presence between that time and the next known occupation, a 19th century pearling camp.

“There are modified glass artefacts, remains of fauna, turtle bones and lots of other materials from that period,” he says.

He says a later occupation appears to be a base for a 1920s trepang (Holothuroidea) fishery.

“We will have one crew working on what we call aerial or open-site survey,” he says.

“The second will be working on [two] rock shelters or caves. The Indigenous archaeology [is] quite substantial and should have good deposits.

“The third crew will be working down on Bandicoot Bay on the historic pearling camp and they will be surveying the extent of the site and … doing limited test excavations in the historic material area.”

The excavation team will employ what he describes as “wet sieving”, a newly-developed technique designed to retrieve minute particles of organic matter such as bone fragments, seeds and charcoal on site.

“We’re using super-fine sieves,” he says.

“We’ll be setting up what are called floatation bins or ponds, and everything that comes from the deposit will actually be wet-sieved and anything organic right down to one millimetre will be retrieved.

“We hope to get charcoal from fuel that’s many thousands of years old … possibly up to about 40 [or] 45 [thousand years].

“[Also collected will be] seeds and plants that people may have eaten, and tiny things like fish bones and remains of mammals that you normally wouldn’t get.”

Original article:
sciencemag.net
May 30, 2013

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Topic: Crop from ancient lentils?

Lentil plant

Plants grown from lentils discovered during a dig in Kütahya and believed to be thousands of years old will soon be planted, scientists have announced.

Speaking to the press, Dr. Nüket Bingöl of the biology department at Dumlupınar University said the lentils, which were found in the Seyitömer district during a dig by the university’s archaeology department, were germinated four months ago using a tissue culture method. “We have in hand 17 [plants grown from the] 4,000-year-old lentils,” he said. “Now we’re going to plant our sprouts in the field and try to get seeds from them. … Our plants are living in a sterile environment, but we don’t know what will happen when they’re planted in the field.”

Bingöl stated that Dumlupınar was working in cooperation with other Turkish universities on this project and that they planned to conduct DNA analyses and other scientific evaluations of the lentil plants as they grew, seeing a critical opportunity to analyze the characteristics of plants from millennia ago. The seeds found at the Seyitömer site will pave the way for further research in the field of genetically modified foods and the organic food movement, as scientists say the seeds display morphological differences from the lentil plants of today. An archaeological team from Dumlupınar University had found a container holding seeds during an excavation in Seyitömer. While many were burned and useless, three of them were not and formed the basis for the current project.

 Original Article:

TodaysZaman

4/21/2110

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Topic: AncientSeeds# 2

My thoughts:

A reader sent me this information on an ancient date palm, which if only 2.000 years is a fantastic event. That seeds remain viable that long be it 2,000 or 4,000 years gives me hope that no matter what we will survive globel warming with sources of food at hand. I wanted to share this with you as well I will be checking out the seed exchanges and write more onthat soon.

 2005-06-12 04:00:00 PST Kibbutz Ketura, Israel — It has five leaves, stands 14 inches high and is nicknamed Methuselah. It looks like an ordinary date palm seedling, but for UCLA- educated botanist Elaine Solowey, it is a piece of history brought back to life.

Planted on Jan. 25, the seedling growing in the black pot in Solowey’s nursery on this kibbutz in Israel’s Arava desert is 2,000 years old — more than twice as old as the 900-year-old biblical character who lent his name to the young tree. It is the oldest seed ever known to produce a viable young tree.

The seed that produced Methuselah was discovered during archaeological excavations at King Herod’s palace on Mount Masada, near the Dead Sea. Its age has been confirmed by carbon dating. Scientists hope that the unique seedling will eventually yield vital clues to the medicinal properties of the fruit of the Judean date tree, which was long thought to be extinct.

Solowey, originally from San Joaquin (Fresno County), teaches at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura, where she has nurtured more than 100 rare or near-extinct species back to life as part of a 10-year project to study plants and herbs used as ancient cures.

In collaboration with the Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Center at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, named in honor of its Southern California- based benefactor, Solowey grows plants and herbs used in Tibetan, Chinese and biblical medicine, as well as traditional folk remedies from other cultures to see whether their effectiveness can be scientifically proved.

In experiments praised by the Dalai Lama, for example, Borick Center Director Sarah Sallon has shown that ancient Tibetan cures for cardiovascular disease really do work.

The San Francisco Chronicle was granted the first viewing of the historic seedling, which sprouted about four weeks after planting. It has grown six leaves, but one has been removed for DNA testing so scientists can learn more about its relationship to its modern-day cousins.

The Judean date is chronicled in the Bible, Quran and ancient literature for its diverse powers — from an aphrodisiac to a contraceptive — and as a cure for a wide range of diseases including cancer, malaria and toothache.

Original Article:

SFGATE.COM Article collections

June 12, 2005|By Matthew Kalman, Chronicle Foreign Service

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