Diets of Bronze-Age People in Southern Poland was Largely Vegetable Based

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New study suggests that ancient Neolithic and Bronze Age people living in the southern parts of modern-day Poland survived mainly on a vegetable-based diet.

An analysis of the bones from burials in Miechów revealed that meat made up only a fraction of their diet, with plants accounting for almost 50% and comprising of cereals such as barley, einkorn wheat, emmer wheat, and later also spelt. The study also revealed that the diet remained consistent for a period that lasted around 5,000 years.

Professor Krzysztof Szostek, from the Institute of Biological Sciences of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw said: “We were able to determine that the diet of people living in southern Poland several thousand years ago in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, consisted of meat only to a small extent. Nearly 50 percent of its composition were plants, and the rest were other foods, probably dairy products.”

Professor Szostek added: “Until now, isotope research on diet reconstruction was performed without taking archaeobotanical analyses into account. This meant that the image of prehistoric people’s diet was incomplete, the models even showed that mainly meat was consumed during that time, which could not be true.”

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