Feeds

Sniff.. Phew! WORLD'S OLDEST CHEESE discovered in Poland

Crucial fromage tech developed 8,000 years ago

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Ancient cheese-making technology has been discovered in Poland - proving Man was making proto-mozzarella approximately 8,000 years ago.

The find shows humans made cheese in the Neolithic Era, 3,000 years earlier than archaeologists previously thought.

Traces of the world's oldest fromage were discovered by researchers from Bristol University, the University of Gdańsk and Princeton when they examined a Polish pot with holes in it. The results of their analysis appeared today in the journal Nature.

Mysterious perforated pottery fragments from a cattle herding site in Poland turned out to be part of an ancient cheese strainer. Traces of milk lipids on the pottery revealed its original use.

The academics poring over the Polish pottery had previously speculated that it was used as a fire cover or as a strain for honey or beer.

But an analysis of the residues on the pot at Bristol University conclusively proved that the chemicals were of milk derivatives. And speaking to modern cheese makers helped the boffins to understand the significance of the perforations in the clay.

Although milk traces were found on pottery from 8,000 years ago, the ancient crockery was not perforated like the pot found in Poland. This suggests that although milk was used, stored and likely curdled in these other sites, it wasn't transformed into cheese as in Poland.

"The evidence was stunning," Professor Richard Evershed of Bristol University told the BBC. He added:

If you then put together the fact that there are milk fats in with the holes in the vessels, along with the size of the vessels and knowing what we know about how milk products are processed, what other milk product could it be?

The cheese strainer would have been an impressive feat for a Neolithic civilisation - taking something perishable and turning it into a storable product. It is believed from genetic analysis that Neolithic farmers were lactose intolerant so it may have helped them digest the milk better, too. The cheese would have been a soft cow's milk delicacy.

Earliest evidence for cheese making in the sixth millennium BC in northern Europe was published in Nature. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.