Pictures from the Past: Art and Symbols of the Neolithic and Bronze Age
|Great Stone Circles, Aubrey Burl
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Stones Forum >> Ancient cheese processing.
||Ancient cheese processing.
| Posted 15-12-2012 at 18:43  |
Just flagging up a Bristol Uni article on Stone Age cheese, apparently it is now mature and on sale next week.
Seriously they have detected the fatty acids on some Polish artefacts.
from Surrey, UK
| Posted 16-12-2012 at 15:23  |
The samples for the analysis came from the following early neolithic sites:
LDW6 and 7, Ludwinowo sites 6 (Czekaj-Zastawny, unpublished) and 7;
BK3 and 4, Brześć Kujawski sites 3 and 4;
M4, Miechowice site 4;
S4, Smólsk site 4;
WN1, Wolica Nowa site 1;
SN2, Stare Nakonowo site 2.
from the paper summary
Earliest evidence for cheese making in the sixth millennium bc in northern Europe
from Surrey, UK
| Posted 16-12-2012 at 15:46  |
Preliminary results of large scale emergency excavations in Ludwinowo 7, comm. Włocławek by Joanna Pyzel
Published in: Wolfram, Sabine; Stäuble, Harald (eds.): Siedlungsstruktur und Kulturwandel in der Bandkeramik. Beiträge der internationalen Tagung "Neue Fragen zur Bandkeramik oder alles beim Alten?!", Leipzig, 23. bis 24. September 2010. Dresden 2012: Landesamt für Archäologie, 160–166
Free download if you are registered on Academia.edu
(In English from page 10)
Kuyavia was an important settlement region of the
Linear Pottery Culture (LBK). There are hundreds of known LBK sites (see fig. 1),
The most important source of information
on this scale was a site in Ludwinowo 7, comm.
Włocławek, which was only fragmentally exca-
vated (Pyzel 2005). But even so it was the only LBK
settlement in Kuyavia with more than one house,
which allowed a short chronological entity to be
recognised (Pyzel 2006; id. 2010) and to be con-
nected with the life span of a single household,
comparable to a house generation in the German
The excavations of the LBK site in Ludwinowo are
caused by the planned A1 motorway, which will run
through E Kuyavia.
The site Ludwinowo 7 is located on the edge of a
small, elongated plateau, to the north gradually
sloping down towards the Vistula valley.
This site – amongst others in this quite poorly
surveyed part of Kuyavia – was unknown before the
survey preceding the construction of the motorway
in spring 2000.
So not much to see on the ground I don't think, mostly postholes. I would suggest adding this news to a nearby Long Barrow
(although it's from the wrong cultural period). Unless you can work out a site page for the Linear Pottery Culture - Cezary?
Chemical analysis of sieve vessels reveals first cheese making in Northern Europe in the 6th millennium BC
Nice cartoon in the Sydney Morning Herald
from South Central Indiana, US
| Posted 03-04-2013 at 04:06  |
From coldrum, another cheese article:
Clay pot fragments reveal early start to cheese-making, a marker for civilization
The presence of milk byproducts found in clay fragments from central Europe provides compelling evidence that farmers used the perforated pots to separate cheese curds from whey, said Bogucki, whose early theory was substantiated by recent research in Europe.
As a young archaeologist, Peter Bogucki based his groundbreaking theory on the development of Western civilization on the most ancient of human technology, pottery. But it took some of the most modern developments in biochemistry—and 30 years —finally to confirm he was right. While working as director of studies at one of Princeton University's residential colleges in the 1980s, Bogucki theorized that the development of cheese-making in Europe—a critical indicator of an agricultural revolution—occurred thousands of years earlier than scientists generally believed. His insight, based on a study of perforated potsherds that Bogucki helped recover from dig sites in Poland, promised to change the scientific understanding of how ancient Western civilization developed. Bogucki published his theory in a 1984 article in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology. Although his detective work was extensive, it was impossible to prove the bits of pottery were the remains of a cheese maker, rather than some other type of strainer. There the matter lay, until researchers at the University of Bristol used a new type of test to measure ancient molecular remnants embedded within the pottery. "Lo and behold, it was chock full of dairy lipids," said Bogucki, who is now the associate dean for undergraduate affairs at Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science. The discovery of milk lipids, a type of molecule signaling milk processing, was a smoking gun. In an article published last month in the scientific journal Nature, Bogucki and his fellow researchers explain that the presence of milk byproducts found in the pottery provides compelling evidence that farmers used the perforated pots to separate cheese curds from whey. It also explains how Neolithic Europeans, who were generally unable to digest lactose, were able to use milk for food—the whey retains most of the lactose in milk, allowing the farmers to eat the low-lactose cheese. "The discovery provides evidence of the manufacture of long-lasting and transportable dairy products as well as the consumption of low-lactose dairy products at a time when most humans were not tolerant of lactose," said Mélanie Salque, a researcher at the University of Bristol and the lead author of the Nature article. Bogucki's expertise is the prehistoric archaeology of central Europe; he is writing a book on early European farming. Like most border regions, areas such as modern-day Poland are of great interest to social scientists studying the interaction of cultures. "The sites we are dealing with are in north central Poland," he said. "They are on the northern fringe of the earliest farming settlements. To the north of them lay the hunter gatherers of the Baltic basin." In the early 1980s, archaeologists began narrowing their estimates of when key farming developments occurred in ancient Europe. In 1981, Andrew Sherratt at the University of Oxford published a seminal paper describing his theory of a "secondary products revolution," a leap in civilization in which ancient farmers began using livestock for more than just meat. Anthony Legge, then at the University of London, published papers arguing that farm communities had adopted dairying sometime between 4,000 and 3,500 B.C., earlier than previously thought. "Tony was studying animal bones from sites in the British Isles and noticed the patterns at which the cows were slaughtered—lots of young males and older females—were consistent with what you would find in a dairying economy," Bogucki said. At the time, Bogucki was serving as director of studies of Princeton Inn College, now Forbes College, and continuing his archaeological work. He had noticed an unusual type of pottery at a number of sites around Poland: fragments of pots that had been perforated with small holes. But he did not think too much about them until a chance visit in Vermont. "My wife and I were driving back from a wedding in Canada, and we stopped at a friend's house," Bogucki said. "She had a lot of artifacts from the 19th century that she had gathered from the area and one of them was a ceramic strainer. It intrigued me because the only other strainers of this type that I was familiar with were the ones from Poland. "I said, 'What did they use these for?' And she said, 'Cheese-making, of course.'" In his 1984 article, "Ceramic Sieves of the Linear Pottery Culture and Their Economic Implications," Bogucki developed his argument that dairying developed far earlier than generally accepted. He based his argument on potsherds from archaeological sites of the Linear Pottery Culture, a European Neolithic civilization whose remains are characterized by distinctive incised lines on its pottery. Bogucki noted in his paper that the sieve sherds were frequently found at sites dating to the Neolithic period, well before the time Legge suggested. But the sherds received little attention from archaeologists, who often focused on more spectacular artifacts. When sieves were mentioned in scientific literature, a variety of uses were proposed ranging from honey strainers to braziers. Bogucki found them unconvincing. "Why raw honey should require straining in the first place is difficult to answer, for it would seem that it is perfectly usable straight from the comb," Bogucki wrote. "The case for the Neolithic perforated vessels as braziers or ember-holders is equally difficult to support but maddeningly tough to demolish, although it seems rooted in a somewhat romantic view of prehistoric rural life." Vindication is often sweet; this time, it's savory Using data he collected from dig sites in Poland, Bogucki analyzed animal remains from Linear Pottery Culture settlements and concluded that Linear Pottery settlers seldom hunted for food and relied heavily on cattle. There were also almost no remains of pigs, a far more efficient meat source than cattle. Bogucki also determined that raising cattle for meat alone would have made no economic sense for the Linear Pottery farmers who carved grain fields from dense forests. He estimated that the herds would have consumed too much food over too long a time to justify raising them simply for slaughter. Cheese, on the other hand, allowed for a storable and continuing food source. "Linear Pottery communities clearly had access to milk; to ignore such a resource would negate any economic advantages gained from keeping domestic cattle in the central European forests," he wrote. But production of milk alone would not justify dairy farming, as Bogucki explained recently. "It only makes sense if you can convert it into something that is storable and will get you through the winter and into the next season," he said. Bogucki's theory was solid, but it was also controversial. For one, it meant that the secondary products revolution—in which humans began using animals for things like milk, wool and traction power rather than just for meat—developed over a much longer period. Bogucki said that his colleagues felt his argument was interesting, but impossible to prove. "No one really knew where to go with it." That remained the case until recent years when a British biochemist, Richard Evershed, developed a technique to analyze lipid remnants trapped in ancient pottery. Evershed, a professor at the University of Bristol, was able to identify the remains of milk lipids that had bonded to pottery shards. Salque was one of Evershed's students. "I came across Bogucki's work from the 1980s that I found fascinating," Salque said. "I think he was very pleased that someone could finally test his hypothesis." After hearing from Salque, Bogucki contacted colleagues in Poland and arranged for samples to be transferred to Bristol for testing. Then he waited. "Mélanie sent me an email saying 'you will be very happy with the results,'" he said. The research team reported its findings in Nature on Dec. 12. Besides Bogucki, Salque and Evershed, the authors are: Joanna Pyzel, of the University of Gdansk; Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka, of the Polish Academy of Sciences' Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology; Ryszard Grygiel, of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography in Lodz; and Marzena Szmyt, of the Poznan Archaeological Museum. Bogucki said he would like to pursue similar research in the future, perhaps studying the nutrition of the Linear Pottery farmers or their interaction with the hunter gatherers in the region. And, although he is gratified to see his theory validated, he wouldn't mind moving on to a different subject. "I actually hate cheese. I don't like the taste, I don't like the texture," Bogucki said. "I suppose I am destined to have my career forever linked with cheese-making," he said.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-clay-pot-fragments-reveal-early.html#jCp
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