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Curated cauldrons: Preserved proteins from early copper-alloy vessels illuminate feasting practices in the Caucasian steppe


Wilkin, Shevan; Hommel, Peter; Ventresca Miller, Alicia; Boivin, Nicole; Pedergnana, Antonella; Shishlina, Natalia; Trifonov, Viktor (2023). Curated cauldrons: Preserved proteins from early copper-alloy vessels illuminate feasting practices in the Caucasian steppe. iScience, 26(9):107482.

Abstract

Large metal and metal-alloy cauldrons first appear on the far western steppe and Caucasus region during the Maykop period (3700-2900 BCE); however, the types of foods or beverages cooked in and served from these vessels have remained mysterious. Here, we present proteomic analysis of nine residues from copper-alloy cauldrons from Maykop burial contexts where we identify muscle, blood, and milk proteins specific to domesticated, and possibly wild, ruminants. This study clearly demonstrates that the earliest, large-volume feasting vessels contained both primary and secondary animal products, likely prepared in the form of a stew.

Abstract

Large metal and metal-alloy cauldrons first appear on the far western steppe and Caucasus region during the Maykop period (3700-2900 BCE); however, the types of foods or beverages cooked in and served from these vessels have remained mysterious. Here, we present proteomic analysis of nine residues from copper-alloy cauldrons from Maykop burial contexts where we identify muscle, blood, and milk proteins specific to domesticated, and possibly wild, ruminants. This study clearly demonstrates that the earliest, large-volume feasting vessels contained both primary and secondary animal products, likely prepared in the form of a stew.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Uncontrolled Keywords:Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:15 September 2023
Deposited On:22 Nov 2023 09:25
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:40
Publisher:Cell Press (Elsevier)
ISSN:2589-0042
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2023.107482
PubMed ID:37744407
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)