Miners had ‘sophisticated’ diet of blue cheese, beer 2,700 years ago

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A new study has shown that Austrian salt miners enjoyed a diet of beer and blue cheese dating back 2,700 years.

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study that was published in the journal current biology states that it is “the first molecular evidence for the consumption of blue cheese and beer in Iron Age Europe”.

In the study, the scientists analyzed samples of human waste from the Bronze Age to the Baroque period (18th century AD). The study uses feces to study prehistoric nutritional patterns and the overall gut health of our ancestors.


The scientists conducted a microscopic survey of the fungi present in the feces to determine their gut microbiome and diet.

They found that edible fermented fungi appeared in one of the Iron Age specimens from 2,700 years ago, including penicillium roqueforti And Saccharomyces cerevisiae-Which are still used today in the production of blue cheese and beer.

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talking to AFP, Frank Maxner, a microbiologist at the Eurac Research Institute in Bolzano, Italy, who was the report’s lead author, said he was surprised to learn that salt miners during that period had deliberately used fermentation.

The samples were collected from the Hallstatt mine in the Austrian Alps, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds one of the world’s oldest records of salt mining.

According to scientists, the garbage was found due to the workers living and working.

While human feces are known to decompose rapidly, the study stated that it was due to the constant annual temperature (8C) and high salt concentration in the mine, that they were well preserved.

The study says the findings increase understanding of the dietary habits of ancient Europeans as well as point to changes in gut health due to industrialization and westernization.

The study also notes that compared to the dietary habits of Austrian miners, studies of faecal samples from the Bronze Age show a more traditional composition that is similar to that of present-day non-Western individuals, whose diet was also predominantly unprocessed. There are. foods and fresh fruits and vegetables.


Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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