Neolithic Cheese Production

Bogucki has been involved in the discovery of the earliest evidence for cheese production in Neolithic central Europe.    His interest stemmed from his finds of ceramic sieves at Neolithic sites in Poland (which had also been found in earlier excavations.)   These sites also had large quantities of cattle bones.  Bogucki's 1984 hypothesis that these sieves were used in the production of cheese was subsequently validated by the discovery by a team from the University of Bristol of bovine milk lipids embedded in them.    His keynote address to the 2012 LeCHE conference in Amsterdam, linked below, with the accompanying slides, describes Bogucki's work in this area.    Under Publications, please see Bogucki 1984 and Salque et al. 2013.   

Genetic and biomolecular research in recent years has shown that the emergence of lactase persistence, the ability for adults to digest lactose, was more complicated than just using milk, however.   The widespread distribution of this trait occurred slowly in later prehistory under local selection pressures such as famine and disease.    This is reported in a 2022 article in Nature of which Bogucki is one of several dozen co-authors (see for an overview.)   Under Publications, see Evershed et al. 2022.


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