A cooking pot and wooden spoon recovered from the Åmose bog in Zealand, Denmark. Photograph: Anders Fischer
 
Writing in the Guardian on Monday, 24 October, Camila Ruz reports that –
 
Our ancestors’ move from hunter-gathering to farming happened gradually rather than abruptly, food residues found in 6,000-year-old cooking pots suggests.
 

Evidence from pots found around the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe shows farmers at the beginning of the Neolithic period continued to cook the same types of food foraged by their immediate hunter-gatherer ancestors. The finding challenges the traditional view that farming quickly and completely replaced the more ancient lifestyle. 

Archaeologists from the University of York and the University of Bradford studied 133 pots from farming communities in 15 different sites in Denmark and Germany. The team analysed the chemical structures of fats, oils and waxes that had been released from cooking and had soaked into the ceramic. The researchers also studied crusts of burnt food that had been preserved on the inside of the vessels.

More here.