World’s Oldest Flatbread Is 70,000 Years Ago, Here’s A Proof

Can you believe, around 70,000 years ago, a resourceful Stone Age cook combined some wild pulses, a bit of mustard seed, and some crushed pistachio nuts. The earliest known "Flatbread" was going to be rustled up by them. Neanderthals, who lived thousands of years ago and are related to contemporary humans, may not have been as savage as previously thought, according to new research. In fact, it's possible that they created the category of artisanal foods. As per a study that was published in the journal Antiquity, scientists investigated burnt food residues from a Neanderthal excavation site and discovered that they were the remains of the world's first "flatbread," a recipe that the prehistoric people created for palatable flavour. 

According to Chris Hunt, a research co-author, "the old notion is that Neanderthals were less knowledgeable than contemporary humans and that they had a predominantly meat-based diet. The findings go against the idea of Neanderthals as uneducated. On the other hand, the researchers discovered proof that Neanderthals developed cooking methods and recipes to produce a type of unleavened artisanal bread. It is referred to as a flatbread by Hunt. Ceren Kabukcu, the study's lead author from Liverpool University, compared it to a falafel from the Stone Age. 

"It appears that Neanderthals crushed, or ground, then soaked a mixture of wild grains and grasses, wild pulses such as wild lentils, wild pistachios, and, at times, wild grass seeds and grass pea fragments, then cooked the resulting mix over hot stones," stated Hunt. The research is the earliest known instance of food being combined and prepared, probably with an eye toward how it will taste. Even the Neanderthal cuisine was recreated by Hunt and the research group. Hunt described the result as a "pancake-cum-flatbread" with a "kind of nutty flavour" that was incredibly tasty. 

The latest study is focused on Shanidar Cave, a Neanderthal settlement located in the Zagros Mountains 500 kilometres north of Baghdad, Iraq. The site was initially explored in the 1950s and is thought to be 70,000 years old. Ten Neanderthal men, women, and children's skeletal remains were found there by archaeologist Ralph Solecki. Initial research indicated that Neanderthals were more advanced than previously thought. One Neanderthal appeared to have endured multiple wounds, possibly as a result of crude medical treatment, and the grave of another appeared to still include floral remains, indicating a burial ceremony. 

The researchers used an electron microscope to examine pieces of burnt food found in Shanidar and another cave in Greece in order to draw their results. In other words, antiquated relics. According to Kabukcu, the burned food fragments discovered in Franchthi Cave are the first of their kind found in Europe and date to a hunter-gatherer occupation that took place around 12,000 years ago. 

In the end, the research discovered little difference between human and Neanderthal eating, at least in this particular instance. According to Kabukcu, "Our research conclusively reveals the deep antiquity of plant foods produced with numerous preparation steps and incorporating more than one ingredient."