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Analysis of ancient cooking pots reveals transition to agriculture

Chemical analysis carried out on 6,000-year-old cooking pots found in northern Europe shows that freshwater fish was used to supplement the communities fledgling agricultural economy.

Around one-fifth of coastal pots contained other biochemical traces of aquatic organisms, including fats and oils absent in terrestrial animals and plants. At inland sites, 28 percent of pots contained residues from aquatic organisms, which appeared to be from freshwater fish.

Lead author Dr Oliver Craig, of the Department of Archaeology at York, said: “This research provides clear evidence people across the Western Baltic continued to exploit marine and freshwater resources despite the arrival of domesticated animals and plants. Although farming was introduced rapidly across this region, it may not have caused such a dramatic shift from hunter-gatherer life as we previously thought.”

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Story: Phsyorg | Photo: Anders Fischer

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