Ancestral Appetites: Food in Prehistory by Kristen J. Gremillion

By Kristen J. Gremillion

This ebook explores the connection among prehistoric humans and their nutrients - what they ate, why they ate it, and the way researchers have pieced jointly the tale of prior foodways from fabric lines. modern human nutrition traditions surround a doubtless countless kind, yet all are primarily concepts for assembly simple dietary wishes built over hundreds of thousands of years. people are designed by means of evolution to regulate our feeding habit and nutrition know-how to fulfill the calls for of a variety of environments via a mix of social and experiential studying. during this e-book, Kristen J. Gremillion demonstrates how those evolutionary methods have formed the diversification of human nutrition over a number of million years of prehistory. She attracts on facts extracted from the fabric continues to be that supply the one direct proof of ways humans procured, ready, awarded, and ate up nutrition in prehistoric occasions.

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Extra resources for Ancestral Appetites: Food in Prehistory

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We need not rely on natural selection to winnow out genes that are responsible for a poor fit with new conditions. Instead, we use technology to process food according to the needs of the moment and store up what we learn in the form of tradition. The resulting body of knowledge represents the most successful innovations, refined by experience and accumulated over generations. toxic tubers and changing climates. With these benefits of cooking in mind, let us return to the USOs likely to have been targeted by Homo ergaster and other hominins in Africa in the increasingly seasonal habitats they occupied after two million years ago.

Remnants of plant foods are poorly represented at Pleistocene sites because they tend to deteriorate rapidly, even when preserved through charring. We assume their importance to early humans nonetheless, based on the basic primate and ape dietary templates; however, details remain sparse until the Late Pleistocene. Most of these details come from sites with exceptional preservation of seeds and other plant parts as well as more durable artifacts. The evidence from 40 Foraging such sites is changing the way archaeologists think about the evolution of cooking technology.

Chemical techniques are quite varied. Many of them involve heating, which can be either wet (boiling, steaming) or dry (roasting, smoking). This is the kind of preparation that most people think of as cooking, but there is more. Consider other kinds of chemical alteration, such as fermentation, which uses microorganisms to break chemical bonds and remove toxins. Soaking can leach out toxins, with or without heat. Additives are often used to change the acidity of foodstuffs, or bind to and neutralize undesired chemicals.

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