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A team of archaeologists at the University of York have revealed new insights into cuisine choices and eating habits at Durrington Walls -- a Late Neolithic monument and settlement site thought to be the residence for the builders of nearby Stonehenge during the 25th century BC.
Together with researchers at the University of Sheffield, detailed analysis of pottery and animal bones has uncovered evidence of organised feasts featuring barbeque-style roasting, and an unexpected pattern in how foods were distributed and shared across the site.
Chemically analysing food residues remaining on several hundred fragments of pottery, the York team found differences in the way pots were used. Pots deposited in residential areas were found to be used for cooking animal products including pork, beef and dairy, whereas pottery from the ceremonial spaces was used predominantly for dairy.
Unusually, there was very little evidence of plant food preparation at any part of the site. The main evidence points to mass animal consumption, particularly of pigs. Further analysis of animal bones, conducted at the University of Sheffield, found that many pigs were killed before reaching their maximum weight. This is strong evidence of planned autumn and winter slaughtering and feasting-like consumption.
The main methods of cooking meat are thought to be boiling and roasting in pots probably around indoor hearths, and larger barbeque-style roasting outdoors -- the latter evidenced by distinctive burn patterns on animal bones.
Bones from all parts of the animal skeleton were found, indicating that livestock was walked to the site rather than introduced as joints of meat. Isotopic analysis indicates that cattle originated from many different locations, some far away from the site. This is significant as it would require orchestration of a large number of volunteers likely drawn from far and wide. The observed patterns of feasting do not fit with a slave-based society where labour was forced and coerced, as some have suggested.
Dr Oliver Craig, Reader in Archaeological Science at the University of York and lead author on the paper, said: "Evidence of food-sharing and activity-zoning at Durrington Walls shows a greater degree of culinary organisation than was expected for this period of British prehistory. The inhabitants and many visitors to this site possessed a shared understanding of how foods should be prepared, consumed and disposed. This, together with evidence of feasting, suggests Durrington Walls was a well-organised working community."
originally posted by: SlapMonkey
originally posted by: punkinworks10
would loved to have had me some prehistoric brisket or tri tips
I'm just impressed that you know what a tri-tip is...must be from the West Coast?
Often labeled "Santa Maria steak", the roast is most popular in: The Central Coast of California, Central Valley regions of California and throughout the entire state
Slice that baby thin and slap it on a nice bun, or slice it thick and eat it like a steak. Either way, it's always juicy and always tasty.
NEVER OVERCOOK IT!!! Medium at most. I had to teach my dad that, as he used to make it medium-well or well done. It used to hurt my heart.