Were old people VEGETABLES? 65,000-year-old archaeological site in Australia shows that indigenous groups lived on a diet of fruit, nuts, palm stems, and roasted roots and tubers
- A team from the University of Queensland found old charcoal remains
- The charcoal contains trace elements of food that was cooked 65,000 years ago by the locals
- It shows that old people existed for the most part in a vegetable diet
Researchers investigating one of Australia’s oldest indigenous sites have discovered new evidence that many old people have a predominantly vegetarian diet.
The team, led by archaeologist from the University of Queensland, Anna Florin, collaborated with a group of first Australians from the region to investigate Madjedbebe, one of the earliest known human settlements in the country of 65,000 years old.
The team found a collection of small charcoal samples that contained traces of the various foods that the first residents of the site cooked and ate.
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Researchers in Northern Australia found 65,000-year-old charcoal samples with traces of a local diet, suggesting that the first Australians followed a diet that was primarily vegetarian
The monsters were made by chance, Florin told News week, while small pieces of food flooded during cooking.
While the pieces of food mixed with the burning embers below, they turned into charcoal, which helped to preserve chemical traces that refer to the original ingredients.
The team used powerful microscopes to identify the different chemical traces and collaborated with co-authors and local Mirarr elderly people May Mango and Djaykuk Djandjomerr to match the traces with different plants commonly found in the area.
In total, the samples pointed to 10 different foods, including fruit seeds, nut shells, palm stalk fragments, yam fibers and carrot peels.
They also found traces of a small hard-peeled fruit called pandanus, which contains edible nuts that are rich in protein and contain more fat than even coconut meat.
These highly valued food sources were labor-intensive to process, with hours hammering with stone mortar and pestle to break out of their shells.
The team of researchers from the University of Queensland collaborated with co-authors and local Mirarr elderly people May Mango and Djaykuk Djandjomerr to identify the 10 different types of food in the preserved charcoal samples
Foraging a local variety of plums was a common way to get calories
Another valued food source was the pandanus, a small nut with large amounts of protein and fat that was in a bulk and hard shell and grows from a local variety of palm trees, which requires hours of work with a mortar and pestle to gain access
“It’s great because people put a lot of effort into this and the types of vegetable food they ate,” Florin said in one interview with the university website.
“And we see that not only in these pieces of charcoal, but also in the associated stone tool technology.
“We have sharpening stones and we think people were grinding seeds and processing a whole bunch of different plants and doing a lot of work in it and that was how they could adapt to these new environments.”
PEOPLE CAN ARRIVE TO AUSTRALIA BEFORE THOUGHT
Experts studying ancient artifacts in Australia say that we have to reduce the date from which people arrived nearly 20,000 years to 65,000 years ago.
The discovery means that they would have lived for tens of thousands of years alongside Australia’s unique mega fauna.
An international team of researchers investigated artifacts found in Madjedbebe, an air raid shelter in Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia, which was home to early aboriginals when they arrived in Australia.
More than 10,000 stone tools, ocher colored pencils, plant remains and bones have been excavated on the site since 1973.
Their analysis showed that people arrived in Australia much earlier than expected.