Archeologists Find First Evidence of Spicy Cooking
Honor goes to garlic mustard seeds used 6K years ago
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2013 9:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – The first foodies? Archeologists have uncovered the oldest known evidence of humans cooking with spices, they report in PLoS One. The UK researchers found traces of garlic mustard seeds in 6,000-year-old pots dug up in Denmark and Germany. Because the seeds have little nutritional value but deliver a peppery flavor, they conclude that the seeds' sole purpose was to spice up other foods in the pot, one of the researchers tells National Geographic.

The discovery is intriguing because it further challenges the notion that prehistoric people were concerned only about shoveling down food for basic sustenance, explains LiveScience. That is, meals weren't just about consuming calories—they may have had a larger social component than realized. The finding suggests that "cooking and producing food was a very creative process for them," another of the researchers tells NPR's the Salt blog. (Another archeological discovery this week is a little darker: a murderous piece of jewelry.)

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Aug 24, 2013 5:07 PM CDT
We dont know that they didn't use it for healing or other uses. It may not have worked, buy people are superstitious and might have believed different then.
Aug 24, 2013 2:06 PM CDT
Now there's some really important life-altering news. Glad I didn't waste my time reading the whole thing.
Aug 24, 2013 2:05 PM CDT
keep digging. i'm sure it goes further back than that