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Direct evidence for the existence of dairying farms in prehistoric Central Europe (4th millennium BC)

Spangenberg, Jorge E. and Matuschik, Irenaus and Jacomet, Stephanie and Schibler, Joerg. (2008) Direct evidence for the existence of dairying farms in prehistoric Central Europe (4th millennium BC). Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, 44 (2). pp. 189-200.

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Abstract

Milchprodukte - Fettsäure - Topfkruste The molecular and isotopic chemistry of organic residues from archaeological potsherds was used to obtain further insight into the dietary trends and economies at the Constance lake-shore Neolithic settlements. The archaeological organic residues from the Early Late Neolithic (3922–3902 BC) site Hornstaad-Hörnle IA/Germany are, at present, the oldest archaeological samples analysed at the Institute of Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the University of Lausanne. The approach includes 13C/12C and 15N/14N ratios of the bulk organic residues, fatty acids distribution and 13C/12C ratios of individual fatty acids. The results are compared with those obtained from the over 500 years younger Neolithic (3384–3370 BC) settlement of Arbon Bleiche 3/Switzerland and with samples of modern vegetable oils and fat of animals that have been fed exclusively on C3 forage grasses. The overall fatty acid composition (C9 to C24 range, maximizing at C14 and C16), the bulk 13C/12C and 15N/14N ratios (δ13C, δ15N) and the 13C/12C ratios of palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0) and oleic acids (C18:1) of the organic residues indicate that most of the studied samples (25 from 47 samples and 5 from 41 in the δ13C18:0 vs. δ13C16:0 and δ13C18:0 vs. δ13C18:1 diagrams, respectively) from Hornstaad-Hörnle IA and Arbon Bleiche 3 sherds contain fat residues of pre-industrial ruminant milk, and young suckling calf/lamb adipose. These data provide direct proof of milk and meat (mainly from young suckling calves) consumption and farming practices for a sustainable dairying in Neolithic villages in central Europe around 4000 BC.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Prähistorische und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie (IPNA) > Archäozoologie (Schibler)
UniBasel Contributors:Schibler, Jörg M. and Jacomet, Stefanie
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1025-6016
e-ISSN:1477-2639
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:02 Oct 2017 14:09
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:16

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