Sunday, March 28, 2021

More Prehistoric Porridge

From Malta comes a new archaeological find suggestive of the making of porridge.  The find belongs to the Bronze Age, between 2500 BCE and 700 BCE.  A news article about the find appears via the link at the beginning of the previous sentence of this post.  

Archaeologists examined residue found inside pottery remains at a site called Il-Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija.  Analysis found that the pottery bore remnants of a mixture of bovine milk and cereals--a combination suggesting that they had been used to make and/or eat porridge.  Storage jars found on the site bore traces of proteins indicative of wheat while others had traces of proteins associated with barley.  The fact that so many large jars and food bowls were located at the site suggests that the community stored and distributed their food from a central location, a phenomenon also noted at some prehistoric sites on the island of Sicily.  

Interestingly, broad shallow bowls on the site were found to contain fragments of cow's milk, as well. These containers were decorated with angular motifs resembling basket weaving.  The research team believes that these bowls were used to make cheese, but I wonder; could the bowls indicate that the Bronze Age Maltese originally made their porridge in baskets, as the indigenous Americans did?  Stay tuned! We are learning more about prehistoric life all the time from archaeology and chemical analyses.

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