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Europeans seasoned their food 7,000 years ago

An analysis of ancient residue found on pottery fragments in Europe have revealed that seasonings were being used by hunter-gatherers to enhance the flavour of food 7,000 years ago.

Archaeologists at York, working with colleagues in Denmark, Germany and Spain, have found evidence of the use of spices in cuisine at the transition to agriculture. The researchers discovered traces of garlic mustard on the charred remains of pottery dating back nearly 7,000 years.

The silicate remains of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) along with animal and fish residues were discovered through microfossil analysis of carbonised food deposits from pots found at sites in Denmark and Germany. The pottery dated from the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition from hunter-gathering to agriculture.

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Story: University of York | Photo: University of York

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