Evidence has already been provided that people used dairy products in prehistoric times - for example, in northwestern Anatolia 8, 000 years ago. However, in the case of the relevant finds it was not possible to determine whether they were vessels for cheese production or whether they were used to produce other forms of fermented milk, such as yoghurt. The findings from Poland are now different, since they are obvious cheese dairy utensils, the researchers say.
Whey once leaked through the holes
The sieve-like clay objects from the 6th millennium had been known for some time, and it had already been suspected that the people of that time used them for cheese production. However, it could also have been that the screen structure served other applications, such as separating the honey from the honeycomb. However, Melanie Salque and her colleagues confirmed by chemical analysis that once milk components seeped through the holes: they found in the clay material residues of fatty acids that were clearly derived from dairy products. display
The researchers also investigated hole-free vessels that had been found together with the sieves. For some, they also found traces of dairy, suggesting that they were used in cheese production in connection with the sieves. For other containers, however, they found no evidence of fatty acids from milk, but only traces of meat products. They were probably used for cooking, say the researchers. In some other vessels they were again able to detect coatings of beeswax. Maybe this substance was lining their insides and making them tight. As a result, these vessels could have served to store water.
All in all, the results prove the already multifaceted use of different ceramics during this time, the researchers say. "The investigations of the finds give us remarkable insights into the pots of prehistoric people, " sums up study leader Richard Evershed from the University of Bristol.Melanie Salque (University of Bristol) et al .: Nature, doi: 10.1038 / nature11698 © wissenschaft.de - Martin Vieweg