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Thread: Early farmers were dairying 9000 years ago.

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Early farmers were dairying 9000 years ago.



    Well, so much for the secondary products revolution and that being part of the explanation for the success of the Indo-Europeans. The earliest farmers

    See:
    http://www.archaeology.org/news/5023...ic-dairy-herds

    "YORK, ENGLAND—Live Science reports that researchers from the University of York, the University of Bristol, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique dated more than 500 Neolithic pottery vessels recovered in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and Turkey, and analyzed their contents for traces of dairy products and fat residues. The team members also examined animal bones found at the more than 80 archaeological sites to compare the types of fats found in the pots with the kinds of animals that were kept by the farmers. They found that in the eastern and western areas of the northern Mediterranean, dairying was commonly practiced, but not in northern Greece, where meat production was more popular. Cynthianne Spiteri of the University of Tübingen explained that milk was probably an important resource for early farmers, who may have turned milk into yogurt and cheese to make it easier to digest. Genetic testing of human bones at the sites could reveal if the early farmers were able to digest lactose. The team also found that that Neolithic communities living in rugged terrain were more likely to raise sheep and goats, while open landscapes with plenty of water were better for keeping cattle herds. "

    So far, we haven't found the lactase persistence gene except a few in Neolithic Spain if I remember correctly, but as the authors suggest they probably turned it into yoghurt and cheese.

    This is the Live Science article;
    http://www.livescience.com/56904-ancient-people-consumed-dairy.html

    "The eastern and western parts of the northern Mediterranean, including parts of modern-day Spain, France and Turkey, commonly practiced dairying, but northern Greece did not, they said. Rather, "lipids from pots and the animal bones tell the same story: Meat production [in northern Greece] was the main activity, not dairying," they said."

    The study:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...10113.abstract
    Last edited by Angela; 19-11-16 at 19:28.


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    It goes along the cheese stainers found in the Neolithic LBK culture tested with milk fats:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...ture11698.html

    For the first known population with some common lactase persistence there is a paper about ancient Basques (3000-2500 BC) here.

    Really herding populations capable to store cheese and drink milk would have a high chance to survive long climatic crisis that would be fatal for farmers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by berun View Post
    Really herding populations capable to store cheese and drink milk would have a high chance to survive long climatic crisis that would be fatal for farmers.
    corded ware maybe ?

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    They're talking about Early Neolithic, even in Anatolia/Turkey. Why wouldn't they be able to store cheese if they were making it?

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    Let's also keep in mind that main reason of milk production could have been drinking milk anyway. Most population of villages were kids, and kids as we know it can drink milk straight from a cow or sheep. Only adults needed milk byproducts. Early farmer societies were drinking milk, just not all of them.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Let's also keep in mind that main reason of milk production could have been drinking milk anyway. Most population of villages were kids, and kids as we know it can drink milk straight from a cow or sheep. Only adults needed milk byproducts. Early farmer societies were drinking milk, just not all of them.
    that is probably how it started, but the cheeses and yoghurts followed not much later

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    corded ware maybe ?
    Also (many climatic crisis are universal or continental so all farmers suffer them irrespective of their culture or language)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    that is probably how it started, but the cheeses and yoghurts followed not much later
    yes, probably instantly. Fresh milk separates very quickly into different layers, of cream and sour milk. I think they could have drank sour milk right away. It takes a day or two in hot weather to produce sour milk out of milk. It is a base for yogurts. Sour milk have only trace amounts of lactose. Sour milk is very popular in Eastern Europe. I love it. Actually, I think, this is what early adult farmers drank. Fast, easy and nutritious for non LP people.
    Butter also have a very low level of lactose.

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    They found a hard cheese residue in some Chinese sites recently didn't they? The cheese had almost no lactose.

    Here is the study, just found it:
    http://www.newser.com/story/182911/w...nese-tomb.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    They found a hard cheese residue in some Chinese sites recently didn't they? The cheese had almost no lactose.

    Here is the study, just found it:
    http://www.newser.com/story/182911/w...nese-tomb.html
    that is in the far northwest of China, beyond the Hexi corridor near the entrance door to the steppe
    they were Ra1axR1a1a1, so not Chinese but steppe origin, but not IE either, they were like the R1a1a-M17 found in the Bajkal EN

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