Early Europeans were vegetarians-Cattle/Manure


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Feb 24, 2021
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Early Europeans were vegetarians, only used cattle for their manure

Deciphered: Europe’s earliest cities relied on fertiliser and plant protein

KIEL, Germany — Being a vegetarian was in vogue thousands of years ago in Europe. Researchers from Kiel University in Germany are revealing that settlers in European cities 6,000 years ago were mainly vegetarians, despite keeping plenty of livestock around. It turns out those animals had one primary job — fertilize crops.

Located in what is now Moldova and Ukraine, these mega-sites of ancient Trypillia societies were once the world’s largest settlements, housing up to 15,000 people. Researchers believe these Trypillia societies were Europe’s earliest urban settlements.

The study reveals peas as a surprisingly significant source of protein in early agriculture. The Trypillia farmers, dating back almost 7,000 years, relied heavily on a diet of grains and peas, minimizing their meat consumption.

To understand how these large populations sustained themselves, Kiel University researchers analyzed carbon and nitrogen isotopes from hundreds of samples, including human and animal bones and charred peas and cereal grains. These analyses shed light on livestock management, crop fertilization practices, and the dietary habits of the inhabitants. The findings suggest a predominantly vegetarian diet, with peas and grains as staple foods.

“We concluded that a large proportion of the cattle and sheep were kept on fenced pastures. Moreover, the manure of the animals produced there was used by people to intensively fertilize the peas in particular,” says Schlütz.
that is very interesting and I guess it goes without saying that the livestock were eating plants (not other dead animals) and so their 'fertilizer' was much cleaner / less contaminated than it is from pigs and cows today

Emma JC
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how about milk and eggs?

An international study, led by the University of Bristol and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has revealed that milk was first used by ancient farmers in Central Europe during the early Neolithic period around 7,400 years ago.

The researchers used a pioneering technique to date dairy fat traces preserved in the walls of more than 4,300 prehistoric pottery vessels. The vessels come from 70 locations in Central Europe that have been attributed to the Linearbandkeramik (LBK) culture.

The results indicate a considerable variation in milk use across the region, with only 65 percent sites presenting evidence of dairy fats in ceramics vessels, suggesting milk use, while common, was not universally adopted by these early farmers.
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on a related note.
10,000 years ago humans were mostly lactose intolerant.
At some point, people started drinking milk. Maybe during famines. The milk made the adults sick. but some adults didn't carry the gene for lactose intolerance. Those adults got less sick than others, survived better during famines, and passed that trait to their progeny. Over thousands of years the trait for lactose tolerance became dominant among North European peoples.
Evolution in action.
But we can also conclude that early humans didn't drink milk.
Although there is archeological evidence that some peoples did even though they were lactose intolerant.
Anyway, not really germane to this discussion - but i find it interesting.
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