Thank God for bad Stone Age chefs, says archaeologist Hayley Saul at the University of York.
“We like dirty pots. People who can’t cook very well,” she said. “They burn food onto their pots, that’s what we’re after.”
It’s from those charred remnants of prehistoric dinners that she and her colleagues isolated the first evidence of a spice used in cooking.
They found microscopic traces of garlic mustard in crusts on 6,000-year-old pots found in Germany and Denmark.
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