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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Prehistoric Man (Diet)

The first humans discovered how to make fire by rubbing two sticks together. The control of fire meant that food, in particular meat, could be eaten cooked. This was a development that had a crucial effect on the anatomy of the eaters. Cooked meat was easier to chew, a factor that contributed to the decrease in size of the jaw and the consequent increase in cranial capacity.

Meat was the main source of food for prehistoric humans. Reindeer meat was a widespread food. Hunters stalked and killed the reindeer which they found crossing their territory and their lives followed the rhythm of the herds' migrations. Other widespread meats were wild Ox and Mammoth, the latter being in America the principle source of meat.

Prehistoric humans lived a nomadic lifestyle, but always stayed close to a water source to ensure they did not become thirsty. Drinking vessels were often made from animal skins, which adapted well to life on the move.

Prehistoric man used flints to cut meat and dig for vegetables. The flint-maker utilized a rock to chip off the pieces of flint, or it was prepared by hitting it against a large stone set on the ground. Tree bark, seashells or tortoise shells were used as containers to collect, transport, preserve, cook and eat food. Spoons cut in a simple fashion out of wood, bone or shells were used both to prepare and eat the meal.

Nettle pudding was a staple of Stone Age man, who made it by mixing nettles and other leaves such as dandelion and sorrel, with barley flour, salt and water.

Almost as old was smoky stew, made with bacon and smoked fish, and meat pudding, a foreunner of haggis and sausages.

Roast hedgehog was a firm favourite 8000 years ago.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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