SCIENCE – 7,000 year old cheese!

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A sieve fragment from a clay pit in north-central Poland which was submitted to lipid residue analyses. (Credit: Image by Mélanie Salque)

A research team from the University of Bristol have discovered evidence that humans in prehistoric Europe made cheese.

In an article in the December issue of ‘Nature’, the team described how they analysed fatty acids extracted from unglazed pottery excavated from archaeological sites in Poland, which showed dairy products were processed.

The pottery was pierced with small holes, similar to modern cheese strainers. The team say the analysis is compelling evidence that the inhabitants of the area made cheese.

Other pottery remains found at the site gave the team an overview of the way these people farmed and ate. In other analysis, cooking pots made for meat and waterproofed bottles (using beeswax) to store water were found.

This is the first real evidence that people of the time made cheese and used some form of organised agriculture and processing as a food source.

More on this at the Science Daily website

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