Navigation Links
Pottery reveals Ice Age hunter-gatherers' taste for fish
Date:4/10/2013

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.

Scientists from the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Japan carried out chemical analysis of food residues in pottery up to 15,000 years old from the late glacial period, the oldest pottery so far investigated. It is the first study to directly address the often posed question "why humans made pots?" The research is published in Nature.

The research team was able to determine the use of a range of hunter-gatherer "Jōmon" ceramic vessels through chemical analysis of organic compounds extracted from charred surface deposits. The samples analysed are some of the earliest found in Japan, a country recognised to be one of the first centres for ceramic innovation, and date to the end of the Late Pleistocene - a time when humans were adjusting to changing climates and new environments.

Until quite recently ceramic container technologies have been associated with the arrival of farming, but we now know they were a much earlier hunter-gatherer adaptation, though the reasons for their emergence and subsequent widespread uptake are poorly understood. The first ceramic containers must have provided prehistoric hunter-gatherers with attractive new ways for processing and consuming foods but until now virtually nothing was known of how or for what early pots were used.

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.

Dr Oliver Craig, of the Department of Archaeology and Director of the BioArCh research centre at York, led the research. He said: "Foragers first used pottery as a revolutionary new strategy for the processing of marine and freshwater fish but perhaps most interesting is that this fundamental adaptation emerged over a period of severe climate change.

"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.

"This study demonstrates that it is possible to analyse organic residues from some of the world's earliest ceramic vessels. It opens the way for further study of hunter-gatherer pottery from later periods to clarify the development of what was a revolutionary technology."


'/>"/>

Contact: David Garner
david.garner@york.ac.uk
44-019-043-22153
University of York
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study reveals risk factors for blood clots in pregnant and postnatal women
2. Einstein study reveals new approach for stopping herpes infections
3. Acoustic monitoring of Atlantic cod reveals clues to spawning behavior
4. Cell on a chip reveals protein behavior
5. UEA research reveals catastrophic loss of Cambodias tropical flooded grasslands
6. Whole genome sequencing of wild rice reveals the mechanisms underlying oryza genome evolution
7. BUSM study reveals therapeutic targets to alter inflammation, type 2 diabetes
8. Sri Lankan snake study reveals new species, rich biodiversity in island country
9. Gene discovery reveals importance of eating your greens
10. New study reveals how sensitive US East Coast regions may be to ocean acidification
11. Ultrasound reveals autism risk at birth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/14/2017)... IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups at VivaTech ... startups and global businesses, taking place in Paris ... will showcase the solutions they have built with IBM Watson ... France is one of the most dynamic ... in the number of startups created between 2012 and 2015*, ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... -- Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative and ... solutions, announced today they will participate as a sponsor ... May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions of ... digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly every ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... May 5, 2017 RAM Group ... a new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on ... mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors ... material created by Ram Group and its partners. This ... transportation, supply chains and security. Ram Group is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 ... ... coffee production and is threatened by various biotic and abiotic factors. During this ... complex evolutionary history of coffee, as well as gain a better understanding of ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... , ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... essential device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the release of SYZYGY™, ... is intended to satisfy the need for a compact, low cost, low pin-count, ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... San Antonio, Texas (PRWEB) , ... August 11, 2017 , ... ... launching a rebranding campaign this month that will incorporate important key elements including a ... to thank the community that has supported them, Bill Miller has partnered with the ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... As a full-service marketing agency, ... customers with the right message. Their effective, cutting-edge inbound marketing strategies are available ... how crucial the agriculture industry is,” said David Phelps, chief marketing officer at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: