Food storage was invented a staggering 400,000 years ago, according to a team of Israeli and Spanish scientists. They conducted a series of experiments to verify the data.
Early humans or hominids living in the Qesem Cave in central Israel during the Paleolithic age invented some early form of food storage and preservation. But don’t start imagining a refrigerator just yet! This was a very primitive form of food storage: they kept bones of slain animals untouched until they were ready to have a taste at that delicious bone marrow. This would give them plenty of nutrition during those days where they couldn’t hunt anything. Or presumably wanted some more flavor. Just kidding on the last part.
Food storage good for nine weeks
The mixed team of archaeologists conducted experiments with deer bones to find out how long the bone marrow would have kept fresh. And the answer is up to nine weeks, which for sure is more than some things last in our refrigerator these days.
The findings were published recently in Science Advances. Dr. Ruth Blasco of Tel Aviv University and the rest of the team reported that they may have actually stored their bones for longer.
The archaeologists found atypical cut marks, made with stone tools, on the fossilized bones of deer. Those cuts could not be explained until this hypothesis. Apparently, this idea for storing food could actually be older and nobody has observed marks such as these before. These specific deer bones did not usually have any meat on them, and that’s why they attracted the attention of the scientists.
Happily, we now have refrigerators and are able to eat a more varied diet thanks to the coolness inside. But you definitely can’t say that hominids weren’t ingenious creatures that found a way to deal with food scarcity.