GCMS data files for: Detection of dairy products from multiple taxa in Late Neolithic pottery from Poland: an integrated biomolecular approach



The detection of dairy processing is pivotal to our understanding of ancient subsistence strategies. This culinary process is linked to key arguments surrounding the evolution of lactase persistence in prehistory. Despite extensive evidence indicating the presence of dairy products in ceramics in the European Neolithic, questions remain about the nature and extent of milk (and lactose) processing and consumption. In order to investigate past patterns of dairy processing, here we analyse ancient proteins identified from Late Neolithic Funnel Beaker ceramics, scrutinising the principle that curd and whey proteins partition during the production of dairy foods from milk. Our results indicate the presence of casein-rich dairy products in these vessels suggesting the creation of curd-enriched products from raw milk. Moreover, this analysis reveals the use of multiple species for their dairy products in the Late Neolithic Funnel Beaker culture, adding to a growing body of evidence that multiple taxa were exploited for dairying in the Neolithic. Alongside palaeoproteomic analysis we also apply lipid residue analysis, with discrepancies in these two approaches suggesting that effects from isotope mixing may be underestimating the frequency of milk use in prehistoric pottery, highlighting the utility of a multi-stranded approach.

External deposit with Dryad.
Date made available13 Mar 2023

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