What was eaten in West Africa 3500 years ago

Pots from the Nok culture of central Nigeria, dating back to the mid-2nd millennium BC, shed light on what people used to eat there.
Photo: private

Researchers from Frankfurt and Bristol have analyzed plant traces in prehistoric pots from Africa. In doing so, references to the origin of traditional dishes were found.

NResearchers from the Universities of Frankfurt and Bristol have gained new insights into prehistoric eating habits in Africa. The scientists examined more than 450 pots from the time of the Nok culture in central Nigeria, which dates back to the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. Traces of fat compounds were found in 66 vessels, from which chemists can draw conclusions about the food stored in the pots.

As the analyzes showed, the people of the Nok culture were eating leafy greens as early as 3500 years ago. Apparently, leaves from trees such as the baobab and certain daisy flowers were processed, which are still used today in West Africa to make sauces. There were also references to the preparation of underground, starchy tubers such as yams. The use of pearl millet, cowpea and African peach, among other things, had already been proven on the basis of charred remains.

The link to the study

Leave a Comment