Dr. Eliso Kvavadze, Diet of the ancient human of Caucasus from Neolithic times to Antiquity

Dr. Eliso Kvavadze will share with us the amazing results of her research at Tbilisi Janashia Museum in the “Cafe Museum”.

On the basis of  Archaeological excavations  we obtain the information about various aspects of ancient human life such as religion, class structure, etc. Among them we can single out the so-called   diet. This aspect is a subject of studies of Dr. Eliso Kvavadze. Her works explore the archaeological resources of the region of different times (from the Neolithic period to antiquity) which tell about the diet of people living in Caucasus area. Her lecture will cover the period from the Neolithic (VI millennium BC. Cut Hill) period until antiquity   (IV century, BC.Vani).

Foods found in ancient burials are: grape dust pellets, lime and strawberry dust pellets (honey products), wooden timber (open fire boiling product), honey( Cut Hill, Barrow burial site,  VI millennium BC. ; Kodiana, barrow burial site,  26-25 centurie BC.s; Dzedzvebi, burial,  Early Bronze Age. 3500 – 3000 BC.; Vani, Oinokhoia, burial, Antique era,  IV century BC.), wheat porridge with nuts and honey (Tsandili) (Abanotubani, Child’s tomb, 12th century AD.), wheat, wheat porridge (Chobareti, settlement, Early Bronze Age, 3500-3000 BC., Grakliani hill, burial, XIII-XII century BC.,) the meat portion (Shapar – Kharaba,  Burial XIV-XV centuries BC ), pellets of crops and grapes dust (Armenia, Nerkin Naverian barrow burial site, Early Bronze Age), chenopodium, nettle, thistle and dust pellets (from the Bronze Age ); fig fruit and seeds (Bedeni, barrow burial site, BC Early Bronze Age.  3500 -3000 BC.), possible  grape juice and grape dust pellets (Nachivchavebi, the child’s burial, Kura – Arax culture of the Late Bronze Age 3,000 BC. ).

The conclusions of the research are very interesting:

  • In the first half of the Bronze age, when the climate was  much warmer  plant foods prevail in the diet of people of  the mountainous regions . Meat product in the menu did not exceed 20%;
  • In late Bronze Age climatic conditions have changed,and  it was not so warm.  Horticulture could not be developed in the Caucasus Mountains, and this was reflected in human nutrition. Plant foods were succeeded by the animal food, which made up 50% of human menu.
  • Horticulture, Viticulture and bee-keeping reached its maximum development during Holocene Climatic Optimum, which coincides with the Early Bronze period (The end of  the fourth millennium BC and the beginning of the third millennium BC ).
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