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Phytoliths in Pottery Reveal the Use of Spice in European Prehistoric Cuisine

AutorSaul, Hayley; Madella, Marco ; Fischer, Anders; Glykou, Aikaterini; Hartz, Sönke; Craig, Oliver E.
Palabras clavePhytoliths
European Prehistoric Cuisine
Use of spice
Fecha de publicación2013
EditorPublic Library of Science
CitaciónPLoS ONE 8 (8) : (2013)
ResumenHere we present evidence of phytoliths preserved in carbonised food deposits on prehistoric pottery from the western Baltic dating from 6,100 cal BP to 5750 cal BP. Based on comparisons to over 120 European and Asian species, our observations are consistent with phytolith morphologies observed in modern garlic mustard seed (Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb) Cavara & Grande). As this seed has a strong flavour, little nutritional value, and the phytoliths are found in pots along with terrestrial and marine animal residues, these findings are the first direct evidence for the spicing of food in European prehistoric cuisine. Our evidence suggests a much greater antiquity to the spicing of foods than is evident from the macrofossil record, and challenges the view that plants were exploited by hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists solely for energy requirements, rather than taste.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0070583
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/95391
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0070583
ISSN1932-6203
E-ISSN1932-6203
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