Archaeology can give great insight into what processes have made us the humans we are today. Seemingly small things have hugely influenced our contemporary lives, and maybe the most important one is the invention of cooking. Richard Wrangham, professor of biological anthropology, in his book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, describes how cooking reduced the caloric cost of digestion and increased the efficiency of food consumption. According to Wrangham, homo
Who invented bread and pancakes?
Amaia Arranz Otaegui, a postdoctoral researcher from
The first known flatbread comes from Shubayqa 1, a Natufian hunter-gatherer site. Through cultural diffusion, and over time, these first flatbreads have evolved into the pizzas, pita, puri, pane
How humans have evolved to eat meat is another area of discussion and debate among archaeologists. Humans might have resorted to meat eating as a necessary adaptation to their changing environment, but it might also have been a milestone change that allowed for quick development of the human brain. Katherine Milton of the University of California says that “early humans were forced into this dietary change because the forests of Africa were receding and these hominids simply couldn’t get enough plant matter to stay alive”.3 Meredith F. Small from Cornell University adds that “for these few million years, humans apparently stuffed themselves with raw meat. And then somewhere, somehow, somebody offered it up cooked.”4
So what about the palaeo diet?
By Rimvydas Laužikas,
University of Vilnius
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- Wrangham, R. (2009). Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. London.
- Arranz-Otaegui, A., Gonzalez Carretero, L., Ramsey, M.N., Fuller, D. Q., Richter, T. (2018). Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115 (31), 7925-7930. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1801071115.
- Milton, K. (1999). A hypothesis to explain the role of meat‐eating in human evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology, 8, 11-21. Doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(1999)8:1<11::AID-EVAN6>3.0.CO;2-M.
- Small, M. F. (2008). Outdoor BBQ: A 700,000-year-old Ritual. Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/2650-outdoor-bbq-700-000-year-ritual.html
- Cordain, L. (2018). Ten questions about the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet. https://thepaleodiet.com/temp-title-dr-cordain-interview/.
- Gibbons, A. (2014). The Evolution of Diet. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/evolution-of-diet/