Stone Age: seasoning and pureeing – Neanderthals cooked more sophisticated than expected

Science early humans

Stomping, seasoning, pureeing – Neanderthals cooked more sophisticated than expected

HANDOUT - Neanderthal father with his daughter.  Credit: Tom Bjorklund ATTENTION: Free for editorial use only in connection with coverage of the study provided credit is given.  Photo: Tom Bjorklund

The British research team’s findings are the first real evidence of complex cooking

Source: Tom Bjorklund

You can listen to our WELT podcasts here

In order to display embedded content, your revocable consent to the transmission and processing of personal data is required, since the providers of the embedded content as third-party providers require this consent [In diesem Zusammenhang können auch Nutzungsprofile (u.a. auf Basis von Cookie-IDs) gebildet und angereichert werden, auch außerhalb des EWR]. By setting the switch to “on”, you agree to this (which can be revoked at any time). This also includes your consent to the transfer of certain personal data to third countries, including the USA, in accordance with Art. 49 (1) (a) GDPR. You can find more information about this. You can withdraw your consent at any time via the switch and via privacy at the bottom of the page.

Neanderthals and modern humans not only hunted animals in the Paleolithic period, but also prepared a diverse vegetable diet. Researchers have unearthed evidence of their fine cuisine – which placed great emphasis on flavors.

Dhe cuisine of the Neanderthals and our ancestors was already more sophisticated in the Paleolithic than previously thought. This is shown by finds of plant food remains in Iraq and Greece that are up to 75,000 and around 12,000 years old, respectively. They are the oldest evidence of their kind for the preparation of food in Southwest Asia and in Europe, writes a research team led by Ceren Kabukcu from the University of Liverpool in the journal “Antiquity”.

“Our finds are the first real evidence of complex cooking – and thus food culture – in Neanderthals and also in early modern humans, long before agriculture and restaurants,” said co-author Chris Hunt of Liverpool John Moores University. The researchers count the preparation of plant seeds, such as soaking, pounding, seasoning and heating, as part of cooking.

With the help of various microscope techniques, the team analyzed charred remains of the hunter-gatherers’ plant food, which also provided clues to the respective preparation methods.

also read

Neanderthal daydreamer

Extinct human species

also read

Swedish scientist Svante Paabo poses with a replica of a Neanderthal skeleton at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, Monday, Oct.  3, 2022. Swedish scientist Svante Paabo was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries on human evolution.  (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

also read

Charles Darwin evolutionary history identifies the chimpanzee as our genetically closest relative in the animal kingdom

The approximately 12,000-year-old finds from the Franchthi Cave in Greece provide information about the early cooking skills of modern humans (Homo sapiens). Researchers uncovered various charred seeds and even food remains resembling flatbread. The seed shells found are characteristic of lentils, vetches and other legumes. They were even able to pinpoint one species: the lentil vetch (Vicia ervilia). It contains bitter substances and must be processed before eating.

also read

Brand Story MARINE RESEARCH

advertisement

From the smooth edges of some seed fragments, the researchers conclude that they were pounded or coarsely ground. Other structures suggest soaking whole dry seeds or using fresh seeds with high moisture content. The researchers emphasize that the Franchthi finds are the oldest such plant remains in Europe.

In the Shanidar Cave, located in the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq, Homo sapiens prepared food as early as 35,000 to 42,000 years ago. From that time, the researchers found, among other things, crushed and fused remains of vetchling peas and peas. Wild mustard and pistachios were probably also included, they write.

also read

3d illustration of a cross-section showing the structure of the Earth, from the core to the crust.

also read

A Tapanuli male

also read

Young woman with long blond hair in colorful autumn forest laughs at the camera

“Underrated Cure”

Previously, Neanderthals had lived in the cave and prepared legumes and grasses as early as 70,000 to 75,000 years ago, as evidenced by charred and crushed remains of the plants. Previous studies of the tartar of Neanderthals from Shanidar Cave had already shown that their diet was varied and they heated wild grains. So far, however, there has been no clear idea of ​​what their food actually looked like.

The soaking of wild legumes followed by pounding or coarse grinding, as suggested by the Franchthi and Shanidar finds, reduced bitter-tasting compounds in the seed coats, the researchers write. As a result, the food became tastier and contained fewer harmful substances. However, the seed coats were not completely removed. From the fragments of seed coats discovered, the researchers conclude that low levels of plant chemicals such as tannins and alkaloids may have been intentionally retained in the food preparation. This points to the development of culinary cultures in which flavors were important from a very early date, Kabukcu said.

“The soaking and mashing or grinding or pounding of legumes has been observed in both the Homo sapiens and Neanderthal periods in Shanidar,” explains Kabukcu. Very similar processing techniques were also discovered in the later Homo sapiens settlement in the Franchthi Cave. The study therefore shows a continuity and connection of “culinary practices” over time and between the two geographic regions.

also read

In the New Nordic Diet, however, not only fish, but also the meat of wild animals is a source of protein

also read

Drinking water is also traded as a detox variant in many places

also read

A carpenter at the shop entrance: Older people focus on fewer goals, says psychologist Freund.  In this way, they avoided conflicting goals

The researchers can only speculate about the exact way the food was heated. According to Kabukcu, the samples showed that the seeds had a high moisture content when they were exposed to heat, so that was during or after soaking. “We saw small hearths in the archaeological deposits in Shanidar Cave and think it’s possible they cooked some items on hot stones,” the archaeologist said. “Overall there are several options, including soaking the seeds in water for an extended period of time and then pureeing or pounding the seeds and then cooking them on a flat surface.”

“Since Neanderthals didn’t have pots, we assume they soaked their seeds in a suitably folded animal skin,” Hunt told the Guardian newspaper. The results show that the choice of food and the methods of preparation are several tens of thousands of years older than the earliest evidence for the cultivation of plants, which was only made possible by a better climate, the researchers summarize in the study.

See more here

See also  Sex and STDs - You can get vaccinated against human papillomavirus | Knowledge & Environment | DW

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *