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Detecting milk proteins in ancient pots

Craig, O., Mulville, J., Parker Pearson, M., Sokol, R., Gelsthorpe, K., Stacey, R. and Collins, M.J. (2000) Detecting milk proteins in ancient pots. Nature, 408 (6810). p. 312. ISSN 1476-4679

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[First paragraph] Deciding whether to farm cattle for milk or beef was just as complex in the past as it is today. Compared with meat production, dairying is a high-input, high-output, high-risk operation indicative of an intensive, sophisticated economy, but this practice is notoriously difficult to demonstrate in the archaeological record. Here we provide evidence for the presence of milk proteins preserved in prehistoric vessels, which to our knowledge have not been detected before. This finding resolves the controversy that has surrounded dairying on the Scottish Atlantic coast during the Iron Age and indicates that farming by the early inhabitants of this harsh, marginal environment was surprisingly well developed.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2000 Macmillan Magazines Ltd
Institution: The University of Sheffield, The University of York
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Archaeology (Sheffield)
The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Depositing User: Matthew J. Collins
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2005
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2009 10:24
Published Version: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v408/n6810/pd...
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/802

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