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University of York: Pottery shows Ice Age hunter-gatherers' taste for fish

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  • University of York: Pottery shows Ice Age hunter-gatherers' taste for fish

    This is quite interesting. Ceramic technology has been around for a very long time:ěstonice

    ... but not for cooking pots.

    However, scientists from the University of York, and from Holland, Sweden and Japan have now found the "earliest direct evidence" for the use of "ceramic vessels" (i.e. clay pots *lol* ):

    Hunter-gatherers living in glacial conditions produced pots for cooking fish, according to the findings of a pioneering new study led by the University of York which reports the earliest direct evidence for the use of ceramic vessels.
    They date from

    the end of the Late Pleistocene - a time when humans were adjusting to changing climates and new environments.
    So what did they find?

    The researchers recovered diagnostic lipids from the charred surface deposits of the pottery with most of the compounds deriving from the processing of freshwater or marine organisms. Stable isotope data support the lipid evidence, and suggest that the majority of the 101 charred deposits, analysed from across Japan, were derived from high trophic level aquatic foods.
    We learn from "Dr Oliver Craig, of the Department of Archaeology and Director of the BioArCh research centre at York" that:

    “The reliability and high abundance of food along shorelines and river-banks may well have provided the initial impetus for an investment in producing ceramic containers, perhaps to make the most of seasonal gluts or as part of elaborate celebratory feasts and could be linked to a reduction in mobility. This initial phase of ceramic production probably paved the way for further intensification in the warmer climate of the Holocene when we see much more pottery on Japanese sites. ..."
    Pottery reveals Ice Age hunter-gatherers' taste for fish - News and events, The University of York

    Is anyone surprised?

    I'm not. It's clear that man's past is tied up with the sea and seafood (and water resources in general). The WHO says:

    Iodine deficiency is the world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, cause of brain damage.
    WHO | Micronutrient deficiencies

    And you have to ask yourself, Whence the dependence?

    Note also that the U.S. Army is very interested in omega 3s from fish oil ... because they work:

    Nutrient may enhance Soldiers' performance | Article | The United States Army

    And don't miss the latest data on how humans spread across the globe -- notice that most of the movement is along coastlines and up river-valleys:

    JOURNEY OF MANKIND - The Peopling of the World

  • #2
    I think I'll make my kelp noodles with alfredo clam sauce for dinner. Thanks for yet another very interesting post, Lewis.