Were there any food deliveries as early as the Bronze Age?

It is now considered common practice to bring prepared meals to the workplace for lunch. Although it is believed to be a modern custom, the workers at the Bronze Age mining sites already had this custom.

Bronze age
© Ken Welsh / Design Pics / Bildallianz Bronze Age: Men who pour metal
Scientists discover that the delivery of food was common in the Bronze Age

This was demonstrated by scientists from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences with a publication in the journal Plos One. It consisted of an article in which they quoted that the Bronze Age miners depended on an outside source to provide them with ready-made meals.

That way, the working day was more productive. Nobody had to stop and move to eat like they did in the same workplace. The advantage is seen because it was possible to work more and better. According to the investigations carried out, the old miners of the copper deposits did not process their food themselves. So there must have been external sources to provide it.

Where was the investigation conducted?

The study was carried out in a copper mine dating from 1100 to 900 BC. Was in operation. This is the mining location Prigglitz-Gasteil in Eastern Austria in the Eastern Alps. In both the Bronze Age and today, making food requires a prior process. At the entrance to the mine, they did not find any items suggesting that the workers’ food was made there. Only items with leftovers from ready-made meals were found.

For this reason, scientists believe that food was previously prepared elsewhere outside of the workplace. In other words, the miners brought their already prepared groceries with them, or there was a so-called elaborate grocery delivery service.

More details of the investigation

The published study describes that fertile farmland for agricultural development around the mine exists and does exist. This was likely the source of the food consumed in the mine. The remains found included legumes such as lentils, nuts, apples, strawberries and blackberries. Food leftovers of animal origin were also found that had to be cooked.

Leftovers from the Bronze Age
Charred remains of edible fruits from Prigglitz-Gasteil S. Wiesinger and T. Jakobitsch

These foods mainly included pork scraps, lamb and veal, which were most consumed during the Bronze Age. In the case of plant foods, they were likely hydrated with water or milk. The study is not yet complete as a second analysis will determine whether spices or salt were used in the manufacture.

Archaeologists also revealed that the miners of that time were highly educated people. There were also specialized craftsmen. Therefore, they had no knowledge of agriculture and livestock. This indicates a high level of community life. As in Egypt, the state was responsible for preparing food for the workers during the construction of the pyramids.

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