sábado, 17 de enero de 2015

Antiquity of dairying on Emerald Isle revealed


A vial containing 5,000 year old lipid extracted from Late Neolithic pot. Image credit: Dr Jessica Smyth
 
New research from the University of Bristol has revealed the antiquity of dairy farming in a region famous for its dairy exports: Ireland.

Research published today in the Journal of Environmental Archaeology shows that dairying on the island goes back approximately 6,000 years, revealed through traces of ancient dairy fats found in pots dating to around 4,000 to 2,500 BC.

Dr Jessica Smyth of Bristol’s School of Chemistry analysed nearly 500 pots from the Neolithic, the period when people switched from hunting and gathering to farming. In Britain and Ireland, this change occurred around 4,000 BC, more than 1,000 years later than on the Continent. The Bristol team use a combination of fat or lipid ‘fingerprinting’ and compound-specific carbon isotope techniques to identify the origin of fats preserved in the walls of prehistoric cooking pots. [...] bristol.ac.uk/

Paper:
‘Milking the megafauna: Using organic residue analysis to understand early farming practice’ by Jessica Smyth and Richard P. Evershed in Journal of Environmental Archaeology

Actualización 23-01-15: Documentan el consumo de lácteos en Irlanda hace 6.000 años