Neanderthals living 50,000 ago in northern Spain apparently enjoyed flavoring their meats with herbs, namely chamomile and yarrow. While these plants are generally known for their medicinal properties, the authors of this new study, looking at previously studied dental calculus, suggest that they were likely added to flavor their food. Their argument is supported by observations of modern-day wild chimpanzees chewing on bitter herbs, among other things.
Baby bottles are not modern-day inventions. Italian archaeologists, working in Taranto (southern Italy), where the Messapian people lived around 1000 BC, discovered a unique terracotta baby bottle in the shape of a pig. This artifact-- found among numerous other artifacts inside a Messapian tomb--also featured terracotta rattles in the belly, which archaeologists believe could have helped put the baby to sleep.
Phytoliths of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) have been recovered from ceramic sherds from sites across Europe and parts of the Near East. The presence of this plant, that is not considered to be nutritional in any form, is argued to have been used to spice food. The ceramic sherds also had evidence of fish and animal residues. This study suggests that early agriculturalists were interested in spicing their food, too.
Looking at nitrogen isotopes, researchers are claiming that manure was started being used as agriculture spread to Europe from the Near East. The earliest use of manure is being dated to around 8000 years ago, which is thousands of years earlier than had been previously thought.
13 bodies dated to the mid-14th century have been revealed following railroad construction just outside London. These bodies are believed to have died from the plague, just before the epidemic spread. DNA studies are expected to reveal information regarding the early stages of the bacteria that cause the massive epidemic.
This discovery is only one of numerous archaeological finds resulting from this railroad project.
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