Evidence Of Porridge-Making In Western Isles 4,000 Years Ago, Found

Possible evidence of porridge-making in the Western Isles 4,000 years ago has been found on pottery recovered from the bottom of lochs.

A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, analysed well-preserved pieces of pots recovered from the sites of Neolithic crannogs.

Crannogs were houses constructed on artificial islands in lochs.

Chemical analysis of pottery from four sites on Lewis identified traces of wheat and milk – suggesting the pots were used for cooking porridge, gruel or stews.

The findings have been published in the journal Nature Communications, external.

During analysis, the scientists said cereal biomarkers were widely detected on the pots, providing the earliest biomolecular evidence for cereals in absorbed pottery residues in the isles.

Dr Lucy Cramp, of the University of Bristol, said: “This research gives us a window into the culinary traditions of early farmers living at the north-western edge of Europe, whose lifeways are little understood.

“It gives us the first glimpse of the sorts of practices that were associated with these enigmatic islet locations.”

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