Ancestral Appetites: Food in Prehistory by Kristen J. Gremillion

By Kristen J. Gremillion

This publication explores the connection among prehistoric humans and their nutrition - what they ate, why they ate it, and the way researchers have pieced jointly the tale of earlier foodways from fabric strains. modern human nutrients traditions surround a doubtless endless type, yet all are primarily techniques for assembly easy dietary wishes built over thousands of years. people are designed by means of evolution to regulate our feeding habit and foodstuff expertise to satisfy the calls for of quite a lot of environments via a mix of social and experiential studying. during this publication, Kristen J. Gremillion demonstrates how those evolutionary procedures have formed the diversification of human vitamin over a number of million years of prehistory. She attracts on facts extracted from the fabric continues to be that supply the single direct facts of ways humans procured, ready, provided, and fed on meals in prehistoric instances.

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The Cro-Magnons seemed more like modern humans. Their toolkits were extensive and specialized; they hunted migratory game, fished, sewed, and built shelters. In contrast, Neanderthals were not only physically distinctive with their short stature, 31 Ancestral Appetites robust physique, and heavily muscled skeleton; they also appeared to lack many of the artifacts and behavioral attributes of more modernlooking people. 1 Modern anthropology has rehabilitated Neanderthals, and current interpretations have been revised in accord with new evidence from archaeological sites, skeletons, and ancient DNA.

Fire Evidence of controlled fire prior to one million years ago – and most of that predating 300,000 years ago or so – is controversial. As we approach the present, evidence becomes both more available and more convincing. This trend may be at least to some degree a result of the greater chance of more recent materials surviving. There are, thus, more opportunities to observe the telltale signs of a human-controlled fire. 19 The site of Zhoukoudien in China, long considered the earliest solid evidence for fire control at 300,000–600,000 thousand years ago, has been reevaluated.

Anthropologists have noted both the growing diversity of foodstuffs during the Late Pleistocene and the fact that people seem to have devised specialized techniques and tools for acquiring and processing them. Multicomponent harpoons, arrow and spear points of various sizes and shapes, fishnets and fishhooks, all stand in sharp contrast to the relative homogeneity of earlier stone tool traditions. Specialized toolkits indicate that people were beginning to tailor their methods to particular types of prey, animals and plants that were selected carefully in ways that provided adequate nutrition without wasting too much time and energy.

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