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Dirty 16,000-year-old dishes reveal that Siberian hunters cooked fish and bone marrow in the ice age

Dirty 16,000-year-old dishes reveal that Siberian hunters cooked hot meals of fish and bone marrow to help them survive the hardest seasons of the ice age

  • Researchers analyzed the residues in pot pots along the Amur River, Russia
  • Along the lower river, the pots had been used for fishing, combining similar in Japan
  • However, different styles of upstream pots were used to boil the bone marrow
  • The findings suggest that pottery was emerging in different places in East Asia.

Dirty 16,000-year-old dishes have revealed that Siberian hunters cooked hot meals of fish and bone marrow to help them survive the hardest seasons of the ice age.

The researchers analyzed ancient fats and lipids that had been preserved in 28 ceramic fragments from the archaeological sites of the ice age along the Amur River in eastern Russia.

They discovered that, throughout Lower Amur, these particular pieces of the world's oldest pottery were used for fish, probably salmon and freshwater fish.

These findings coincide with the pattern of use seen in pots of the same age in Japan, suggesting that fish were becoming a key food in this period of climatic chaos.

On the contrary, the team discovered that the fragments of Amur's medium contained lipids of ruminant animals, probably by boiling the bone marrow.

This marrow would have provided an important source of sustenance in such scarce times caused by the colder weather.

The researchers also discovered that these variations in the use of ceramics were also reflected in the different manufacturing techniques used to create them.

Together, the findings suggest that hunter-gatherer groups in East Asia independently developed pottery manufacturing during this challenging time.

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Dirty 16,000-year-old dishes have revealed that Siberian hunters cooked hot meals of fish and bone marrow to help them survive the hardest seasons of the ice age. In the image, some of the ceramic fragments that the researchers analyzed from the site along the Amur River in eastern Russia

Dirty 16,000-year-old dishes have revealed that Siberian hunters cooked hot meals of fish and bone marrow to help them survive the hardest seasons of the ice age. In the image, some of the ceramic fragments that the researchers analyzed from the site along the Amur River in eastern Russia

"This study illustrates the exciting potential of new methods in archaeological science: we can extract and interpret the remains of foods that were cooked in pots more than 16,000 years ago," said archaeologist Oliver Craig of the University of York.

"It is interesting that pottery emerges during these very cold periods and not during the relatively warmer (periods) when forest resources, such as game and nuts, were more available."

"We are very satisfied with these latest results," said article author Shinya Shoda of the National Institute for Cultural Property Research in Japan.

"They close an important gap in our understanding of why the world's oldest pottery was invented in different parts of Northeast Asia in the Late Glacial Period, and also the contrasting ways in which it was used by these ancient hunter-gatherers."

"There are some striking parallels with the way early pottery was used in Japan, but also some important differences we had not expected."

"This leaves many new questions that we will continue with future research."

The researchers also found that these variations in the use of ceramics were also reflected in the different manufacturing techniques used to create them (as shown in the image). Together, the findings suggest that hunter-gatherers in East Asia independently developed pottery manufacturing.

The researchers also found that these variations in the use of ceramics were also reflected in the different manufacturing techniques used to create them (as shown in the image). Together, the findings suggest that hunter-gatherers in East Asia independently developed pottery manufacturing.

The researchers also found that these variations in the use of ceramics were also reflected in the different manufacturing techniques used to create them (as shown in the image). Together, the findings suggest that hunter-gatherers in East Asia independently developed pottery manufacturing.

They discovered that, throughout Lower Amur, Osipovka pottery (below) used pottery for fishing. In contrast, the team discovered that the fragments of the Amur medium (from the Gromatukha culture) contained lipids from ruminant animals, probably from the boiling bone marrow

They discovered that, throughout Lower Amur, Osipovka pottery (below) used pottery for fishing. In contrast, the team discovered that the fragments of the Amur medium (from the Gromatukha culture) contained lipids from ruminant animals, probably from the boiling bone marrow

They discovered that, throughout Lower Amur, Osipovka pottery (below) used pottery for fishing. In contrast, the team discovered that the fragments of the Amur medium (from the Gromatukha culture) contained lipids from ruminant animals, probably from the boiling bone marrow

"The ideas are particularly interesting because they suggest that there was no single" point of origin "for the oldest pottery in the world," said author and archaeologist Peter Jordan of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

"We are beginning to understand that very different ceramic traditions emerged at the same time, but in different places, and that the pots were being used to process very different sets of resources," he added.

"This seems to be a process of" parallel innovation "during a period of great climate uncertainty, with separate communities facing common threats and reaching similar technological solutions."

The last Ice Age reached its most intense point about 26,000–20,000 years ago, forcing the humans of the time to leave the northernmost regions, including large swaths of Siberia.

Temperatures would only begin to rise about 19,000 years ago, at which time small groups of hunters could begin to occupy these empty landscapes again.

The full findings of the study were published in the journal. Quaternary Science Reviews.

HOW DO RESEARCHERS DETERMINE OLD DIETS?

The researchers recently concluded that people who lived in southern Scandinavia during the Stone Age depended more on fish than previously believed.

They reached this conclusion by studying the bones of 82 individuals who lived thousands of years ago.

The researchers used Bayesian statistical models to learn about human diets after ice melting of the last ice age.

In addition to observing human bones, scientists examined the bone material of animals in order to "get an idea of ​​how diets vary between different places," the study said.

The report states that fish were essential for people living in coastal and continental territories.

The analysis explains: & # 39; The results show that water resources dominated protein intake in both marine and freshwater environments.

"The results also show that there are considerable local variations in the preferred species, but that fishing has been very significant for human subsistence, and the importance of fishing seems to be constantly increasing."

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