Austrian researchers discovered traces of an unusual diet of local miners, which is rooted in the distant past. We are talking about the study of Paleofecalia in the salt mines of Hallstat, which have been developed over the past 2-3 thousand years. The miners were underway to return to the toilet to the surface, and the stable low temperature and salty air of mines retained waste of their vital activity, which made it possible for scientists to establish what they ate.
It turned out that the diet of miners practically did not change for centuries – these are several types of cereals, nuts and berries, plus milk products. Only the form of food changed, for example, a couple of thousand years ago it was porridge, and closer to the present they were replaced by cakes and homemade bread. But the most scientists were interested in traces of Penicillium RoquaForti and Saccharmyces Cerevisiae DNA DNA.
Penicillium RoqueForti is known today as a mandatory component of the production of blue cheeses, in which the key ingredient is mold. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a type of yeast, they are used for alcohol production, in particular beer. Both that are typical of Europe, and if we talk about cheap domestic cheese and beer, they could well be an integral part of the diet of miners.
Another is surprising here, namely the age of the samples. It turns out that back in the Iron Age, people not only mastered the use of enzymatic for the production of products, but also realized its value. Work in the mine is hard work, food is necessary, and the fact that the miners preferred to drink with beer barley tortillas with blue cheese, indicates the recognition of such a diet. Moreover, for tens of centuries-something in their habits began to change only by the 18th century.
Source — Cell Press