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Food and drink in European prehistory

  • Jacqui Wood (a1)

Abstract

There is a wealth of archaeological evidence, from bones excavated in prehistoric middens, piles of fruit stones and sea shells, that give us concrete indications of food consumed at various prehistoric sites around Europe. In addition to this information, we have pollen analysis from settlement sites and charred plant macrofossils. Wetland archaeology informs us in much more detail about not only the types of foods that were being eaten in prehistory but also, in some cases, their cooking techniques. This paper will explore whether or not a popular misconception about the daily diet in prehistory has its roots in the analysis of stomach contents of various bog bodies found in Europe.

De la faune provenant des fouilles de dépôts de cuisine préhistoriques, au tas de noyaux de fruits et de coquilles marines, nous avons une profusion d'evidence archéologique qui nous donne une indication concrète du type de nourriture consommée sur différents sites préhistoriques européens. A toutes ces informations on peut ajouter les résultats obtenus par l'analyse des pollens de sites sédentaires et les macrofossiles de plantes carbonisées. L'archéologie des régions marécageuses nous apporte des informations trés détaillées non seulement en ce qui concerne la nourriture de nos ancêtres préhistoriques mais aussi au sujet des techniques de cuisine utilisées. Cet article se penche sur l'origine d'une misconception populaire au sujet de la diète journalière en préhistoire, et se demande si l'analyse du contenu de l'estomac de plusieurs corps retrouvés dans les tourbières de l'Europe pourrait bien être responsable.

Zusammenfassung

Es gibt eine Vielfalt an archäologischen Zeugnissen, aus prähistorischen Abfällen ergrabene Knochen, Haufen von Obstkernen und Muschelschalen, die uns konkrete Hinweise auf Nahrung geben, die auf verschiedenen prähistorischen Fundstätten Europas verzehrt wurde. Zusätzlich hierzu stehen uns Pollenanalysen aus Siedlungen und verkohlte Makroreste von Pflanzen zur Verfügung. Die Feuchtbodenarchäologie liefert weit detailliertere Informationen nicht zur zu den Nahrungsmitteln, die unsere prähistorischen Vorfahren aßen, sondern auch zu ihren Kochmethoden. Dieser Artikel untersucht, ob eine verbreitete falsche Vorstellung von der täglichen Ernährung in der Prähistorie in der Analyse von Mageninhalten von verschiedenen europäischen Moorleichen wurzelt.

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References

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