From Neolithic hunters and gatherers found different cuisine

The ancient inhabitants of the Baltic region, have not mastered agriculture, already differed in their culinary preferences. Different groups had distinct local cuisine, although they had more or less the same food resources. The article published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

At the end of VI–V Millennium BC, the Baltic sea was inhabited by mostly hunter-gatherers. They use ceramic dishes, which until recently was considered a sign of the presence of agriculture. But no other signs of agriculture (for example, related tools) or livestock (for example, the remains of domestic animals) near their homes is not detected. The use of ceramics by hunter-gatherers, it has been shown previously on the archaeological materials from East Asia, Siberia and Eastern Europe.

Archaeologists subdivide the Baltic hunter-gatherer in four cultures on the style of their ceramics: the culture Arabelle (modern Denmark and southern Sweden), dobchinsky (Western Poland), Neman (primarily Lithuania and Belarus) and Narva (Latvia, Estonia, northwestern).

Scientists led by the Blandin Curel (Blandine Courel) from the British Museum examined the shards 528 of the vessels found by archeologists at sites all these cultures. By the method of chromato-mass-spectrometry of the shards separated impurities, including fats, which are ingrained in the walls of blood vessels in cooking. For these features, scientists were able to figure out what the Baltic hunter-gatherers were cooking.

It was found that in all cultures a significant part of the diet was fish and waterfowl. The fact that the representatives of the Narva culture preferred freshwater fish, and representatives of “Arabella” — the sea, can be explained by “Narva” the region is richer than rivers. Thus for the “narval” fish and fowl were made the basis of the diet, for the “nemanau” it was a pig, “dombkins” ate significantly more meat of ruminants (e.g., deer or elk), and “artibella” ate all the listed products. As you progress in the study region from East to West, the diet became increasingly more diverse.

This phenomenon cannot be explained by natural factors: the fauna in the region was more or less monotonous. “Naruci”, for example, could hunt elk, but that didn’t do it, or prepared them, not using clay dishes (e.g., roasted on a spit). This observation has led scientists to the conclusion that differences in diet explained by cultural differences — in other words, the “naruci”, “amancy”, “dombkins and Arabella” not only had different styles of pottery, but also different cuisines.

The researchers also note that 13 “rebelsky” vessels, probably cooked dairy products. However, no indication that they bred cattle, no. Scientists suggest that milk they could barter with their neighbors — representatives of the Neolithic culture of linear band ceramicsthat were engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding.

Earlier in the year 2020 scientists have found that the expulsion from Europe of cultures of hunters and gatherers of the Neolithic farmers and pastoralists was associated (and probably caused) the deforestation of the continent.

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