Processing plants for food: Experimental grinding within the ERC-project PLANTCULT
PlantCult Project aims to explore the role of culinary traditions and innovations through their impact on shaping the social landscape in ancient Europe over long time periods (from the Neolithic period to the Iron Age) and large territories. The experimental program is part of an integrated study of food products and associated equipment focusing on whether the introduction of new species or changes in social and economic organisation brought about changes in the food grinding technologies of the area.
The experiments include tools operated by back and forth reciprocal motion and circular motion, and manufactured from different raw materials, with different morphologies and sizes. The tools design and the list of plant ingredients (cereals, legumes, acorns and oil-seeds) ground in the experiments are all based on the archaeological record of the studied area. In this paper we present the experimental protocol, the multi-scale methodology applied to the use-wear analysis of grinding stone tools, and the results of the experimental processing of the main plant ingredients detected in prehistoric European cuisine.
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