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The ‘Hidden Foods’ project: new research into the role of plant foods in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic societies of South-east Europe and Italy

Cristiani, E., Radini, A., Boric, Dusan, Mutri, G., Filipović, D., Allué, E. A., Bonsall, C., Boroneanţ, A., Dalmeri, G., Fontana, F., Lo Vetro, D., Martini, F., Negrino, F., Peresani, M., Riel-Salvatore, J., Sarti, L., Vujević, D. and Vukojicić, S. 2016. The ‘Hidden Foods’ project: new research into the role of plant foods in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic societies of South-east Europe and Italy. Antiquity 90 (351)

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Abstract

The ‘Hidden Foods’ project is a new research programme aimed at reconstructing the importance of plant foods in prehistoric forager subsistence in Southern Europe, with a particular focus on Italy and the Balkans. The role of plant foods in pre-agrarian societies remains one of the major issues of world prehistory. Popular narratives still envisage ancient foragers as primarily ‘meat-eaters’, mainly as a consequence of the poor preservation of plant remains in early prehistoric contexts, and due to the employment of methods particularly focused on the contribution of animal protein to human diet (e.g. isotope analysis) (e.g. Bocherens 2009; Jones 2009; Richards 2009). Recently, new methods applied to archaeological evidence have provided a different understanding of hunter-gatherer dietary preference and interaction with the environment. Harvesting and processing might not have been the sole prerogative of agricultural societies, and plant foods seem to have played an important role amongst hunter-gatherers (e.g. Revedin et al. 2010).

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Additional Information: Project Gallery section - Antiquity+
Publisher: Antiquity Publications
ISSN: 0003-598X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:31
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/96245

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