3,500 Year Frozen Food Container Discovered in the Alps


On the Lötschberg Mountain in Switzerland, there was a very rare food container that had been frozen and made of 3,500 years old. The wooden container still carries the traces of the cereals placed in the 1500s.

On the Lötschberg Mountain in Switzerland, there was a very rare pottery made of bronze from the Bronze Age, the vessel still has traces easily selectable from the grains it has sheltered over time

At the peak of the Lötschen crossing, the vessel at an altitude of 2,650 meters above sea level is believed to have been frozen since its owner lost or left it in 1500 BC

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It is known that such explorations are extremely rare. Until now, there was only one work similar to this vessel, which was discovered in another alpine gateway Schnidejoch, about 25 kilometers west of the Lötschen pass. The mummified man, called the ice man Ötzi and dated to 3300 BC, still retains the most famous discovery in the ice-covered Alps.

According to the survey, cabinet analysis revealed wheat, barley wheat and barley traces. For the first time in the research it was understood that it was a work giving detailed information on the food content of the Bronze Age

The box is stuck in the glacial mass and has been frozen for 3,500 years. C: Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern

Research writer Jessica Hendy from Max Planck Institute of Human Historical Sciences,

"There is a peculiar, deformed sludge on this food container. It is not very common for grain grains to be preserved for thousands of years. In some cases, burnt grain grains seem to have survived for many years, but in doing so they lose most of the features that will enable us to identify their species and qualities. Fortunately, there is a method we can use to study this sediment much deeper at the moment. "

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Grain need not be preserved in its entirety in order to be identified, but it is sufficient to examine the protected molecules to find out which cereal species belongs to the sediment on the vessel.

The Lötschen gate in the Swiss Alps, where the vessel is located. C: Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern

Researchers are trying to determine which carcasses they carry over a period of time, taking the biomolecules of the trough on the box. Researchers who want to apply this method to less conserved remains find it extremely exciting that the method can be applied in many different situations.

Kushfin is believed to help illuminate how the cultivation of grain in the Bronze Age Europe developed by shedding light on the social and political structures of the time.

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"We know there are grains at that time, but we do not know how important it is to the general economy. We can now use this method to better understand the importance of grains for these early farmers. "

IB Times. July 26, 2017.

Article : Colonese, A. C., Hendy, J., Lucquin, A., Speller, C. F., Collins, M. J., Carrer, F., … & Craig, O. E. (2017). New criteria for the molecular identification of cereal grains associated with archaeological artefacts. Scientific reports, 7 (1), 6633.


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