The Diet of Early Farmers in Çatalhöyük

On the western mound of Çatalhöyük (6000 - 5600 BC) during the excavation, number 5 was opened. The larger East Mound (about 7100 - 6000 BC), which had already been abandoned when the West Mound developed, can be seen in the background. A: Jason Quinlan
An international research team revealed the details of the diet of early farmers in the Neolithic settlement Çatalhöyük: cereal, legume, dairy products and meat.
By analyzing the protein residues in the pots in the area, the researchers identified evidence of their food in the Neolithic period.
Although earlier studies have examined pottery remains in the field, this research is the first to use proteins that can be used to more specifically identify plants and animals.
Using this new approach, the team will be able to identify the pots found in the early agricultural region of Central Anatolia; grain, legume, dairy products and meat. In some cases, researchers can narrow food to certain types.
Çatalhöyük was located a large settlement had been inhabited by farmers as early as the year 5600 BC to 7100 BC the years and is now at the center of Turkey. It has fascinating findings that have been built side by side in almost every direction and stand out because of the excellent preservation of the finds. After more than 25 years of excavations and analyzes, Çatalhöyük is considered as one of the best researched early farming areas.
Examples of calcified sediments in modern and old pottery in Çatalhöyük. A: An example of large scale sediment accumulation in a modern tea water container used near Çatalhöyük. B: A close-up view of the lime scale deposit on an old sample. A: A relatively intact vessel showing the pot shape (not analyzed in this study). D: In this study, a selection of 4 pieces showing the calcifications that adhere to the inner surface of the potsherds.
Credit: Ingmar Franz; Hendy et al. 2018.

Protein analysis

For this study, the researchers investigated the sherds dating to the end of the settlement in the western mound of Çatalhöyük with a narrow period of time dating to 5900-5800 BC. Pottery fragments belonged to open bowls and jars, as understood from their reconstructions, and had calcified residues on their inner surfaces. Today, in this region, lime residues formed in the cooking pots are very common.

Identified which animals they benefit from

In order to determine what was put into the pots at that time, the researchers used the latest technology protein analyzes in samples from pots.
The analyzes revealed that the pots contain grains, pulses, meat and dairy products. These dairy products were mostly obtained from sheep and goats and also from cattle. The bones of these animals were found in all parts of the archaeological site, and the earlier lipid analyzes revealed milk fats in the pots. However, this research was the first research to determine exactly which animals were used for milk.
According to the found plant remains, cereals; it contains barley and wheat, while legumes contain peas and burcak. Animal products that are not dairy products that are likely to contain meat and blood come mainly from goats and sheep, and in some cases come from cattle and deer.
Interestingly, most jars contain evidence of more than one type of food in a single container, which suggests that residents are confusing their meals.
Summary of protein-derived protein definitions. The graph on the left summarizes the proteins extracted from the inner wall of the pots and the graph on the right summarizes the proteins derived from calcified deposits in the inner wall. A: Jessica Hendy; Hendy et al. 2018.

Different milk production techniques

There was, however, only evidence in the form of proteins in the whey portion of dairy products in a pot.
Üretim This is particularly interesting, because residents may be using milk production methods to separate fresh milk, cut milk and whey, yöntem said the author Jessica Hendy. They also show that they have a special container for holding the whey, that is, they use whey for additional purposes after the cut milk has been removed. Aynı
These results show that dairy farming has continued in this area since at least the 6th millennium BC, and that people use the milk of many species, including cows, sheep and goats.

There must be more varieties in their diet

However, researchers emphasize on the basis of archaeological records that more and more kinds of foods, especially plant foods, have been defeated at Çatalhöyük. These foods were not found in the pots examined or found in the databases they use to identify proteins.
The proteomics approaches used by the researchers are largely dependent on the reference sequence databases and are not represented or limited in many plant species in these databases.
Diz For example, in databases, there are only six protein sequences for the burc. There's almost 145,000 for wheat. Future studies will have to expand these databases with more reference sequences. Gelecek
Source: archaeology


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