Ancient food technology by Robert Irvin Curtis

By Robert Irvin Curtis

This article discusses strategies in foodstuff processing and maintenance from the palaeolithic interval via to the overdue Roman Empire. It considers the indispensable position foodstuff expertise performed within the political, fiscal, and social textile of historical society.

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25 Elisabeth S. V r b a , " C l i m a t e , H e t e r o c h r o n y a n d H u m a n E v o l u t i o n / ' JAnthRes 52 (Spring 1996): 1 - 2 8 . 26 V r b a 5 " L a t e Pliocene C l i m a t i c E v e n t s , " p p . 4 1 8 20; Pat S h i p m a n a n d J o h n M . H a r r i s , " H a b i t a t P r e f e r e n c e a n d Palcoecology of Australopithecus boisei in E a s t e r n A f r i c a , " in Evolutionary History, p p . 3 4 3 81. ‫כ‬ THF, ! ( ) W E R AND MIDDLE PALEOLITHIC PERIODS other African sites, such as Beds II and IV at Olduvai Gorge in T a n z a n i a and Bodo in Ethiopia.

G . Philip R i g h t m i r e , " T h e Dispersal of Homo erectus f r o m Africa a n d the E m e r g e n c e of M o r e M o d e r n H u m a n s , " JAnthrRes 47 ( S u m m e r 1991): 177 91; i d e m , " H o m o E r e c t u s a n d L a t e r M i d d l e Pleistocene H u m a n s , " p p . 2 3 9 59; i d e m , Evolution of Homo Erectus, p p . 2 2 4 33; Poirier, Understanding Human Evolution, p p . 2 3 9 43, 252 57. S o m e scholars believe t h a t / / . erectus as a species a c c o m m o d a t e s a w i d e variation, e n c o m p a s s i n g A f r i c a n a n d Asian II.

Robustus, relative to estimated body weight, had smaller anterior (incisors and canines) but larger posterior (molars) teeth than did the gracile australopithecines, A. afarensis and A. africanus. T h e posterior teeth were used for crushing a n d / o r grinding during mastication. 4 6 W e a r patterns on incisors of the gracile species indicate more abrasion from grit and more frequent use. W h a t this means specifically for their dietary habits is as yet unclear. It seems likely, though, that the robust hominids enjoyed a "hard-object" diet made up more of items like seeds that were encased in a hard outer shell, while the gracile forms ate a greater variety of foods, especially leaves and stems.

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