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Food Workshop in Archeon

Wednesday, 24 April, 2013
Dr Rüdiger Kelm
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 
36 participants. 1500 audience
Food, Drink and Culinary Practices in Ancient Times

1. Introduction
Food and Drink are basic needs for every human being. From the perspective of our modern culinary practices with all its specialities and (sometimes) strange customs the traditional cuisines and especially the pre- and protohistoric dishes seems not only very far away, but also very primitive and have a negative connotation. The “picture in mind” from the always meat-eating Stone Age hunter is very vivid in all of our heads …

There are a lot of different sources for the reconstruction of prehistoric diet: Harvesting-tools, hunting-weapons, traps, remains of oven-constructions, tools for eating, cooking-stones, pots, grinding-stones, bones, mussel-shells, carbonized plant- and food-remains, traces of fat etc. In some ancient periods we also have pictures or other figurative depictions (like the famous cave-paintings or Roman wall pictures). Very seldom we also have original recipes (like from the Roman cook Apicius from the 1. century AD or from medieval written sources).

Without a doubt we can observe that the prehistoric people in the different parts of Europe have developed food strategies in combination with acquisition, conservation and preparation techniques, where we still today can benefit from – also keeping in mind the countless “food disasters” since Neolithic times like crop failure, cattle epidemics, wars and environmental catastrophes like heavy rainfalls.

We think that the (theoretical) knowledge and (practical) use of ancient food-preparation techniques resp. experiments about ancient food, drink and culinary practices gives a great opportunity to reflect about our own recent consumer behaviours with all its consequences for health, animal breeding conditions and (social and ecological) costs.

So let us take a look into the many aspects of prehistoric cooking and the results of archaeological research and new starting-points of theoretical and practical work on this subject!

April 2013, Archeon, The Netherlands

Dr. Rüdiger Kelm.


2. Scheme of the Workshop (24. 4. 2013)


- 9.00 – 15.00: Practical workshop (“cooking and looking”) parallel to the OpenArch- and Workshop presentations, with accompanying discussions between the partners (who are changing between the different stations)
- 9.30 – 10.00: Introduction “Concept of the Future of Food” by Adjiedj Bakas
- 12.30 – 13.00: lunch (with “regularly offered” food from the ARCHEON)
- 13.00 – 15.30: (Theoretical) Presentations/lectures
- 15.30 – 16.00: Discussion between the colleagues (with tasting of some of the products of the day in the medieval cloister gardens)

All presentations and demonstrations were documented in detail by pictures and film, which are avalialbe at!

- 9.30 – 10.00: Introduction “Concept of the Future of Food” by Adjiedj Bakas (film-clips)
- 13.00 – 13.30: Dr. Rüdiger Kelm, Archaeological-Ecological Centre Albersdorf, Germany: Food, Drink and Culinary Practices in Ancient Times - Introduction and Evaluation
- 13.30 – 14.15: Prof. Dr. Alan Outram, Exeter University, England: Food and Fat in Prehistory: Some Examples from experimental Archaeology.
- 14.15 – 15.15: Prof. Dr. Bill Schindler, Washington College, Maryland, USA: Interpreting Prehistoric Foodways to the Public: An Opportunity and Responsibility
- Plenary Discussion with Resume and Tasting of the products of the day

Practical stations:
- The area for the practical cooking was usable for the digging out of earthen ovens; a clay oven was prepared in this area before the workshop; benches/seats and tables were available, also a shelter for working in rainy weather.
- The area of the practical workshops was (generally) also open to the public (at the opening hours of the Archeon)
- Most of the ancient dishes and menus are documented by photo and film and also available as recipes (see chapter 4!).
- Concrete stations (offered by the OpenArch-partners):

Mesolithic Time: cooking with hot stones;
Bronze Age: baking bread in clay oven, making soup of vegetables with apples, mushrooms and leek, smoking fish, boiling clams, “prehistoric café” with home brew beer and mead and small appetizers like soft cheese, smoked fish, mealworms and roasted nuts);
Roman Period: some recipes from ancient sources (see chapter 4 c!);
Medieval time: team of bakers and monks in the “medieval town” with home brew beer, meat-balls on a pin, traditional bread, butter, raisins, bacon, cabbage, cumin-chicken etc.

Viking Age: Making food in a earth oven (pit) with hot stones (meat, salmon, root crops, onion, mushrooms).

Prehistoric Time: Herbs and spices – their use in food and medicine; production of herbal teas (using herbs and spices from the Archeon open air area)

The activities of the OpenArch-partners were accompanied by a practical demonstration of Prof. Dr. Bill Schindler about fermentation processes of vegetables (with onions, radishes, leek etc.; for recipes see chapter 4 d!).


3. Resumes of presentations:

a) Food, Drink and Culinary Practices in ancient Times - Introduction and Evaluation (by Rüdiger Kelm, Archaeological-Ecological Centre Albersdorf, Germany)

The workshop “Food, Drink and Culinary Practices in ancient times” was planned, organized and realized by OpenArch-Work Package 4 (the Dialogue with skills) in cooperation between the Archaeological-Ecological Centre Albersdorf (Germany) and the Archeon, The Netherlands, where the workshop took place on the 24. 4. 2013.
The workshop included food-preparation skills and techniques in different pre- and protohistoric times (stone age, bronze age, Iron Age, Roman Times, medieval times) from different European regions and focussed on different methodological aspects from a theoretical and practical point of view.
In this presentation the lecturer introduces into the aim of the workshop with its practical and theoretical parts and describes in detail the evaluation of a questionnaire, which has been send round to different experts in prehistoric cooking and answered by six specialists (from the OpenArch-partners and from external experts).
The main results are that more or less all Archaeological Open Air Museums in Europe have to face the same (organisational/financial/safety/hygienic) problems in working with such activities, but that there is a big chance and challenge to focus in the future more on (former and recent) sustainability questions in connection with food and make comparisons between ancient and modern times, which are of great meaning and daily importance for the general public. For this topic there exist obviously the greatest awareness and best-practice-experience in Great Britain, from where the institutions in other countries can learn a lot in the future.

The PowerPoint-Presentation of this lecture (including the evaluation of the questionnaires) is available!

b) Food and fat in prehistory: some examples from experimental archaeology
(By Prof. Dr. Alan K. Outram, Exeter University, England)

The principal ways in which experimental archaeology can inform us about past food ways are outlined, including some short examples. These examples are discussed in relation, not only to their scientific relevance, but the extent to which they can form useful demonstrations for the presentation of archaeological science and ancient skills to the public. It is clear that some forms of experiment lend themselves much better than others to dialogue with the visitor, whilst others have greater power to answer scientific questions. Some require greater skills than others, too.

Experiments into prehistoric exploitation of fat resources are taken as the main case study. The importance of fat in the diet of hunter-gatherers and early farmers is explained, and the different ways in which we can archaeologically investigate fat exploitation and consumption are discussed. An experimentally based method for identifying bone marrow extraction and bone grease production is presented, before providing an example of its application to the archaeological record. This example compares prehistoric Paleoeskimo fat exploitation to that of the medieval Norse in Greenland and Iceland.
The value of experiments in bone fat exploitation is discussed in relation to the presentation of past skills to the public, alongside its use in educating visitors in relation to past diets and the formation of the archaeological record. It is concluded that this particular activity lends itself well to dialogues with science, the public and skills. It is a process that is active and can be demonstrated on an appropriate timescale. It demonstrates aspects of past diet that are lesser known today whilst producing a very visible and resilient physical signature that can be seen in the archaeological record. It requires some knowledge and skills that are largely lost in modern society.

Karr, L.P., LA Hannus and Outram, A.K. (2010) A Chronology of Bone Marrow and Bone Grease Exploitation at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village, PLAINS ANTHROPLOGIST, vol. 55, 2010, 215-223
Mulville, J. and. Outram, A.K (eds) (2005) The Zooarchaeology of Fats, Oils, Milk and Dairying. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
Outram, A.K. (1999) A Comparison of Palaeoeskimo and Medieval Norse Bone fat Exploitation in Western Greenland. Arctic Anthropology 36:1, 103-117.
Outram, A.K. (2001) A New Approach to Identifying Bone Marrow and Grease Exploitation: Why the "Indeterminate" Fragments should not be Ignored. Journal of Archaeological Science 28:4, 401 - 410.
Outram, A.K. (2002) Bone Fracture and Within-Bone Nutrients: An Experimentally Based Method for Investigating Levels of Marrow Extraction. In: P. Miracle and N. Milner (eds.) Consuming Passions andPatterns of Consumption. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. 51-64.
Outram, A.K. (2003) Comparing levels of subsistence stress amongst Norse settlers in Iceland and Greenland using levels of bone fat exploitation as an indicator. Environmental Archaeology 8:2, 119-128.
Outram, A.K. (2004) Identifying dietary stress in marginal environments: bone fats, optimal foraging theory and the seasonal round. In M. Mondini, S. Munoz and S. Wickler (eds) Colonisation, Migration, and Marginal Areas. A Zooarchaeological Approach. Oxford: Oxbow 74-85.

The Powerpoint-Presentation of this lecture is available.

c) Interpreting Prehistoric Foodways to the Public: An Opportunity and Responsibility (by Prof. Dr. Bill Schindler, Washington College, Maryland, USA)

We are continuously distanced from our food. No longer do we hunt and gather. No longer do most of us grow or raise our own food. In fact, most farmers no longer grow their own food and instead purchase the majority of their family food from grocery stores. In recent decades our relationship with food has deteriorated to the point where most of us do not even know the people that are raising, harvesting, butchering, packaging, shipping, or preparing our food. The interpersonal contacts we engage in to obtain the food that we consume, minimally three times every day, are often limited to a cashier at the grocery store or a waiter as a restaurant. While these transformations have been couched as progress, they have profound consequences that have, amongst many other consequences, resulted in making humans and our environment sick. It is within this dietary landscape, a landscape that is so drastically different than anything even remotely resembling subsistence patterns of the past that we attempt to interpret prehistoric and historic food ways to the public. It is my contention that an accurate portrayal of ancient subsistence practices may be the most important role that we can play in attempting to interpret the past. The ability to present food in context is an opportunity rather than an obstacle and the context created in an open-air museum is so powerful that it has the ability to shed people of their inhibitions regarding food. Modern society has much to learn from a true understanding of how we met our dietary needs in the past and, given the unique opportunity afforded us, I believe it is our responsibility to provide it. This presentation will discuss the numerous benefits of paleodietary subsistence practices and report on the authors experiences where in-context interpretation of prehistoric food ways to the public were successful.


Schindler, B. (in prep.), Our dietary Past: The Story of the Human Quest for Nutrient Dense Food (Alta Mira Press).
Schindler, B., Krochmal, A. and Eckenrode, K. (2012), Rethinking Relative Utility Factors to better Model Resource Potential in Prehistoric Diets.
Schindler, B. and Wiest, M. (2010), Remember Lessons from the Past: Fermentation and the Restructuring of our Food-System. In: Fermented and smoked foods – Proceedings of Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2010.

The Powerpoint-Presentation of this lecture is available!

d) “Concept of the Future of Food” (by Adjiedj Bakas, The Netherlands)

Mr. Adjiedj Barkas is a motivational speaker and a trend-watcher, who has written several books on the present-day challenges concerning food production and consumption. For the introductory part of the workshop there are used different film-clips from his work to explain his concepts.
Content: The film shows that the pressure on food increases today because of population growth on the one hand and environmental protection needs on the other hand at the same time. It is presented what can be done resp. what is necessary for the future to “feed the world” (f. e. development of new plants, increased use of organic and genetic food, “personalized food”, “guerrilla gardening” in the cities with gardens on roofs etc., need of meat substitutes, more food consisting of vegetables, return to seasonal and regional food, use of food as medicine etc.). Because 60 – 80 % of the population of the future will live in cities there are new forms of living and food production needed; here future research will play a major role. It is sure that a shift will come for our future food (“Shift happens!”).
In this context also archaeological research on food and experiments/demonstrations of ancient cooking can be very useful, as Jack Veldman from Archeon explains in a following discussion of the participating colleagues.

e) Results of the Plenary Discussions

- Discussion themes following the lecture of R. Kelm:

  • There are common specifics about cookery in archaeological open-air museums (hint: prepare some time consuming work/food always before the demonstrations to the public, so you can hold the interest of the visitors!)
  • There are common problems which you have to face as a crafts person (f. e. to get the correct ingredients)
  • There are European wide strict regulations and restrictions looking on health and safety issues (hint from Eindhoven Museum: Let the school classes cook on their own and give them only the necessary information and ingredients, so they are responsible for themselves!)
  • Modern questions and perspectives on sustainability in relation/combination with prehistoric food are major issues for future educational programs in archaeological open air museums and can give this programs on ancient food a very actual/modern aspect
  • Hint: Start cooking with visitors using recipes of dishes which tastes good (so you can evoke interest in the questions and issues belonging to ancient food production and preparation!)

- Discussion themes following the lecture of A. Outram:

  • There are indications from excavations that also bones have been roasted and used as ingredients for food (f. e. for stews) – “new”, today nearly unknown old food ingredient
  • The results of archaeological excavations show that more or less all parts of an animal are used by prehistoric men (for food or for other purposes)

- Discussion themes following the lecture of B. Schindler:

  • The different methods and problems of food conservation are discussed
  • B. Schindler gives interesting and amazing examples how difficult it can be to get the real (“prehistoric” ingredients for the) food, like for example raw milk (which is very often forbidden to sell to the public)
  • There are some publications of B. Schindler about these themes online and printed available

- General Discussion themes on ancient food:

  • There seems to exist always a personalised “taste in mind” (with aversions and preferences), which causes in ethnic background, traditions, food supplies in different regions, climate etc.
  • One of the most interesting results of the workshop was the conclusion that “prehistoric food” tastes more real, deeper, more intensive as modern food


4. Recipes:

a) “Stone Age”
(modern recipes inspired by prehistoric supplies and used in the Archaeological-Ecological Centre Albersdorf, Germany):
1. Ragout of Mushrooms with leek and bacon
Ingredients: 750 g cepe-mushroom, 400 g wheat, 450 g Leek, 300 g Bacon, 200 g grease (pig), 300 g sour cream, 1 l bouillon, salt
Preparation: Let the wheat ca. 30 min. cook in the bouillon, thereafter let it swell for ca. 5 – 6 hours without heating. Cut the bacon into small pieces and let it fry for ca. 5 minutes in the hot grease. Then put the mushrooms (cut into slices) to it and continue with frying for further 10 minutes (with low heat). Put the swollen wheat-corns (without the rest-liquid) also to the bacon-mushroom-mix and continue for ca. 15 minutes. At last put the sour cream carefully to it and salt it.

2. Stew made of fish with mussels, salmon and leek
Ingredients: 500 g mussels (without shell), 250 g salmon (cut into pieces), 2 l water, ca. 1 kg leek, horseradish (grinded), sour cream
Preparation: Heat the water, put the leek to it and let it cook for 5 minutes. Put then the fish and the mussels to it and continue to cook ca. 5 minutes (low heat). Season it with horseradish and sour cream before serving. Serve with flatbread.

3. Blackberries with honey and nuts
Wash the blackberries, put (little) honey on it and serve with grinded (hazel-)nuts.

4. Marmalade of Rowan
Reap berries of rowan-bushes (after some weeks of frost – before much too bitter!). Mix with apples and peaches and cook it to marmalade.

b) “Iron Age” (modern recipe, used and delivered by Ciutadella Iberica, Calafell; Catalunya)
Whole wheat flatbread
Ingredients: water, whole wheat flour, sourdough (mixed whole wheat flour and water fermentation; left to stand 4 days) and salt.
Preparation of dough: - Mix a spoonful of salt in a part of water and a part of whole wheat flour (measure: we use a small plastic coffee cup) - Mix the dough with your hands - Add a spoonful of sourdough and keep mixing until ingredients are all well combined - Make a flat shape - Put in the oven until it is well baked.

c) Roman Recipesfor the seasons (from M. G. Apicius cooking-book “De re coquinaria”, 1st cent. AD), delivered by Viminacium Roman Park (Serbia) in original Latin and translated into English


1. PISA (Green-beans) Apicius, Liber V, III, 1.

Pisum coques. Cum despumaverit, porrum, coriandrum et cuminum supra mittis. Teres piper, ligusticum, (careum hoc est carvita) careum, anethum, ocimum viridem, suffundis liquamen, vino et liquamine temperabis, facies ut ferveat.Cum ferbuerit, agitabis. Si quid defuerit, mittis et inferes.

Cook the peas, when simmered, lay leeks, coriander and cumin on top. Crush pepper, lovage, cumin, dill and green basilica, wine and broth to taste, make it boil; when done stir well, put in what perchance should be missing and serve.

2. PVLLO (Chicken) Apicius, Liber VI, VIII, 2.

Pullum Parthicum: pullum aperies a navi et in quadrato ornas, teres piper, ligusticum, carei modicum. Suffunde liquamen. Vino temperas. Componis in cumana pullum et condituram super pullum facies. Laser (et) vivum in tepida dissolvis, et in pullum mittis simul, et coques. Piper aspersum inferes.

Dress the chicken carefully and quarter it. Crush pepper, lovage and a little caraway moistened with broth, and add wine to taste. After frying place the chicken in an earthen dish pour the season over it, add laser and wine. let it assimilate with the seasoning and braise the chicken to a point. When done sprinkle with pepper and serve.

3. RAPAS SIVE NAPOS (Turnip in honey or wine) Apicius, Liber III, XII, 1.

Rapas sive napos elixatos exprimes, deinde teres cuminum plurimum, rutam minus, laser Parthicum, mel, acetum, liquamen, defritum et oleum modice. Fervere facies et inferes.

Turnips are cooked soft, the water is squeezed out; then crush a good amount of cumin and a little rue, add Parthian laser or vinegar, stock, condensed wine and oil3 heat moderately and serve.


4.SALA KATTABIA (Sala katabia) Apicius, Liber IV, I, 2.

Aliter sala catabia Apiciana: adicies in mortario apii semen, puleium aridum, mentam aridam, gingiber, coriandrum viridem, uvam passam enucleatam, mel, acetum oleum et vinum. Conteres. Adicies in caccabulo panis Picentini frustra, interpones pulpas pulli, glandulas haedinas, caseum Vestinum, nucleos pineos, cucumeres, cepas aridas minute concisas. Ius supra perfundes. Insupernivem sub hora asparges et inferes.

Put in the mortar celery seed, dry pennyroyal, dry mint, ginger, fresh coriander, seedless raisins, honey, vinegar, oil and wine; crush it together in order to make a dressing of it. Now Place 3 pieces of Picentian bread in a mould, interlined with pieces of cooked chicken, cooked sweetbreads of calf or lamb, cheese, pignolia nuts, cucumbers [pickles], finely chopped dry onions [shallots] covering the whole with jellified broth. Bury the mould in snow up to the rim; unmould, sprinkle with the above dressing and serve.

5. PATINA DE PIRIS(Pear patina) Apicius, Liber IV, II, 35.

Pira elixa et purgata e medio teres cum pipere, cumino, melle, passo, liquamine, oleo modico. Ovis missis patinam facies, piper super aspargis et inferes. Mesh cooked and peeled pears (without core) together with pepper, cumin, honey, passum, Liquamen and a bit of oil. Add eggs and put into a casserole. Cook approximately 30 minutes on small to moderate heat. Serve with a bit of pepper sprinkled on the soufflé.

6.CVCVMERES (Cucumbers) Apicius, Liber III, VI, 2.

Aliter cucumeres rasos: elixabis cum cerebellis elixis, cumino et melle modico, apii semen, liquamine et oleo. Ovis obligabis, piper asparges et inferes.

Peeled cucumbers are stewed with boiled brains, cumin and a little honey. Add some celery seed, stock and oil, bind the gravy with eggs sprinkle with pepper and serve.


7. GVSTVM DE CVCVRBITIS(Pumpkin) Apicius, Liber III, IV, 1.

Cucurbitas coctas expressas in patinam compones. Adicies in mortarium piperem, cuminum, silfi modice (id est laseris radicem), rutam medicum, liquamine et aceto temperabis, mittes, defritum modicum ut coloretur, ius exinanies in patinam. Cum ferbuerit iterum ac tertio, depones et piper minutum asparges.

To have the harder ones palatable, do this: Cut the fruit into pieces, boil and squeeze the water out of the boiled fruit and arrange the pieces in a baking dish. Put in the mortar pepper, cumin and silphium, that is, a very little of the laser root and a little rue, season this with stock, measure a little vinegar and mix in a little condensed wine, so that it can be strained and pour this liquid over the fruit in the baking dish; let it boil three times, retire from the fire and sprinkle with very little ground pepper.


Lenticulam de castaneis: accipies caccabum nouum, et castaneas purgatas diligenter mittis, adicies aquam et nitrum modice, facies ut coquatur, cum coquitur, mittis in mortario piper, cuminum semen coriandri, mentam, rutam, laseris radicem, puleium, fricabis, suffundis acetum mel, liquamen, aceto temperabis, et super castaneas coctas refundis, adicies oleum, facies ut ferueat, cum bene ferbuerit, tunticulabis ut in mortario teres, gustas, si quid deest, addes, cum in boletar miseris, addes oleum uiridem.

Carefully shell and peel the chestnuts. Boil them in water with a pinch of baking soda in an earthenware pot. Drain when cooked. Meanwhile, put in a blender jar the pepper, the cumin, the coriander seeds, the mint, the rue, the garlic and the pennyroyal. Process all these herbs and spices with the teaspoon of honey, 1 tablespoon vinegar and (if you don’t want to use nuoc-nam) 4 anchovy fillets dissolved in ½ cup oil. Put the mixture in the earthenware pot with the chestnuts, and let the flavors blend over low heat. When all the liquid has absorbed, put the chestnuts in a food processor and process until the mixture becomes a purée. Taste, and if something s misssing, add it and tun the processor again. At the end, put the chestnut purée in a deep serving dish and dress with 3 tablespoons of green olive oil.

9. SAVILLVM(Savillum) Cato, De agricultura, 84.

Savillum hoc modo facito. Farinae selibram, casei P.II S una conmisceto quasi libum, mellis P. Er ovum unum. Catinum fictile oleo unguito. Ubi omnia bene conmiscueris, in catinum indito, catinum testo operito. Videto ut bene percoquas medium, ubi altissimum erit. Ubi coctum erit, catinum eximito, papaver infriato, sub testum subde paulisper, postea eximito. Ita pone cum catillo et lingula.

Make a dough of flour, cheese and egg. Bake on nan oiled tray. It would be ideal to bake them in a clay pot with a cover. When they are done, pour honey over them and sprinkle with poppy.


10.ASSATURAM (Prasetina) Apicius, Liber VII, V, 1-2.

Assam a furno simplicem salis plurimo conspersam cum melle inferes. Aliter assaturas: myrtae siccae bacam extenteratam cum cumino. Pipere, mel, liquamen, defrito et oleo teres, et fervefactum amulas. Carnem elixam sale subassatam perfulndis, piper aspargis et inferes.

Crush dry myrtle berries with cumin and pepper, adding honey also broth, reduced must and oil. Heat and bind with roux. Pour this over the roast that is medium done, with salt; sprinkle with pepper and serve.

11. DULCIA DOMESTICAApicius, Liber VII, XI, 1.

Palmulos vel dactilos excepto semine, nuce vel nucleis vel piper tritum inferces. Sales foris cintigis, frigis in melle cocto, et inferes.

Take a box of good-quality dates (they should not be sticky, and the skin should not come off easily). Pit them by making a cut on one side. Fill the cavity with walnut meats, pine nuts or even ground black pepper.

12. PERNAE(Ham) Apicius, Liber VII, IX, 1.

Pernam, ubi eam cum caricis plurimis elixaueris et tribus lauri foliis, detracta cute tessellatim incidis et melle complebis. Deinde farinam oleo subactam contexes et ei corium reddis ut, cum farina cocta fuerit, eximas furno ut est et inferes.

The ham should be braised with a good number of figs and some three laurel leaves; the skin is then pulled off and cut into square pieces; these are macerated with honey. Thereupon make dough crumbs of flour and oil1 lay the dough over or around the ham, stud the top with the pieces of the skin so that they will be baked with the dough bake slowly and when done, retire from the oven and serve.


13. LIBUM Cato, De Agricultura 75

Libum hoc mondo facito. Casei P. II bene disterat in mortario. Ubi bene distriverit, farinae siligineae libram aut, si voles tenerius esse, selibram similaginis eodem indito permiscetoque cum caseo bene. Ovum unum addito et una permisceto bene. Inde panem facito, folia subdito, in foco caldo sub testu coquito leniter.

Makelibum like this. Pound well in a mortar two pounds of cheese. When it is thoroughly macerated, add a pound of wheat flour and knead well with the cheese or, if you want a more delicate cake, use half a pound of fine flour. Add an egg and knead again carefully. Form a loaf, put it on a bed of leaves and bake it slowlu on a warm hearth under a clay pot.

14. IVS DIABOTANON IN PISCE FRIXO Apicius, Liber X, I., 1.

Piscem quemlibet curas, lavac, friges. Teres piper, cuminum coriandri semen, laseris radicem, origanum, rutam, fricabis, suffundes acetum, adicies caryotam, mel, defritum, oleum, liquamen, temperabis, ferundes in caccabum, facies ut ferveat, cum ferbuerit, piscem frictum perfundes, piper asparges et inferes.

Use any kind of fish. Prepare clean, salt, turn in flour, salt and fry it. Crush pepper, cumin, coriander seed, laser root, origany, and rue, all crushed fine, moistened with vinegar, date wine, honey, reduced must, oil, and broth. Pour in a sauce pan, place on fire, when simmering pour over the fried fish, sprinkle with pepper and serve.

15.GLOBI Cato, De agricultura, 79.

Globos sic facito. Caseum cum alica ad eundem modum misceto. Inde quantos voles facere facito. In ahenum caldum unguen indito. Singulos aut binos coquito versatoque crebro duabus rudibus, coctos eximito, eos melle unguito, papaver infriato, ita ponito.

Make globi like this. Mix fresh cheese with alica in the same proportions and the same way as for libum dough, using enough to make the desired number of globi. You will decide how much you will want to make. Put lard into a very hot bronze skillet and fry the globi one or two at a time, turning often with the help of two sticks. When they are done, remove them, drizzle them with honey, then sprinkle with poppy seeds and serve.

16. COCHLEAS(Snails) Apicius, Liber VII, XVI, 4.

Aliter cochleas: viventes in lac siligineum infundes, Ubi pastae fuerint, coques.

The live snails are sprinkled with milk mixed with the finest wheat flour, when fat and nice and plump they are cooked.

d) Modern Recipes that Exemplify Prehistoric Food Processing Technologies and Nutrient Dense Foods from the Past (tested, tasted and delivered by Dr. Bill Schindler,Associate Professor of Anthropology, Washington College, Chestertown, MD,

1. Bakers Foie - chicken liver pâté with a cognac butter
Sources: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig & Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson
1 Tablespoon butter
1 pound chicken or duck livers
½ pound mushrooms, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
1 bunch green onions
2/3 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ stick butter, softened
sea salt

Melt butter in a heavy skillet. Add livers, onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until livers are browned. Add wine, garlic, mustard, lemon juice and herbs. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is gone. Allow to cool. Process in a food processor with softened butter. Season to taste. Place in a crock or mould and chill well.

2. Cognac Butter
3 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
1 Tablespoon Cognac
Pinch of salt

Place butter in small bowl. In small saucepan, heat the cognac until it is hot to the touch. Add it to the butter along with the salt. Stir the butter until it has a liquid consistency and then pour it evenly over the pate. Cover and refrigerate until the cognac butter has set.

3. Roasted marrow bones with arugula salad
Source: The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson

Marrow bones, about 3 inches long
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil
Celtic sea salt

Place the bones in a bowl of ice water to cover, add 2 Tablespoons salt, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, changing the water 4 to 6 times and adding 2 more tablespoons salt to the water each time.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drain the bones and pat dry. Stand them up in a lightly oiled roasting pan, and roast for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the marrow has puffed slightly and is warm in the center. To test, insert a metal skewer into the center of marrow, ten touch it to your wrist to see if it is warm. There should be no resistance when the skewer is inserted, and a little of the marrow should have melted and started to leak from the bones.
While the bones are roasting, prepare the parsley salad, if serving it, and toast the bread.

4. Parsley Salad
3 cups mixed flat-leaf parsley, celery leaves, and arugula leaves
1 Tablespoon finely diced shallot
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the leaves, shallot, and capers in a medium bowl. Whisk together the oil and lemon juice in a glass measuring cup or a small bowl, then season very lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.

5. Lacto-Fermented Kimchi
Source: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig

1 head Napa cabbage, cored and shredded
1 bunch green onions
1 cup carrots, grated
½ cup daikon radish, grated
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon dried chili flakes
2% by weight kosher salt

Place vegetables, ginger, garlic, red chile flakes, and sea salt in a bowl and pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer to release juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down to the top of the cabbage. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.

P. S.: Something about prehistoric drinks (which are very often forgotten in this context): Water and (from Neolithic times onwards) milk were the most important drinks through all times. Besides that we do not have to forget blood (also taken from living animals), beer in its different forms, honey-wine, wine, spiced wine, syrup and teas from different fruits, teas from herbs and birch-water (especially in Scandinavia).

Here are two recipes for tea, which are used in Albersdorf and could have been also used in prehistoric time (by Tobias Kühne):

1. Nettle Tea: 1 bucket of fresh and young nettle (Urtica dioica), 3 – 4 hands full of dandelion (Leontodon), 3 hands full of Galium aparine, 1 little ginger-piece, 30 g brewer´s yeast and 2 cups of brown sugar.

Cook the herbs carefully can 45 minutes in 8 l of water. Let this cool down and put the sugar and yeast to it. Hold it warm for ca. 8 hours, then take the foam away. Fill it into bottles and seal it.

2. “Coniferous Tea” In wintertime you can make a tea rich in vitamins out of the needles of Picea, Abies and/or Pinus. Boil water (not cooking!) and put it to the needle-mix. If you cut the needles before to pieces the substances can easier develop its taste.

5. Impressions from the Workshop:

You find photos and film-documentation from the food-workshop on the 24. 4. 2013 in the open air-area of the Archeon on the homepage of the OpenArch-Project (
A short description of the different practical stations and demonstrations you find under chapter 2 in this report!

6. Bibliography:

AÖZA (ed.), Delikatessen aus der Steinzeit-Küche (Albersdorf 2009).
F. E. Barth and W. Lobisser, Das EU-Projekt Archaeolive und das archäologische Erbe von Hallstatt. ArchaeoLive (Wien 2002) – Experiments about ham production and diet of mineworkers in salt mines of the Bronze Age in Hallstatt, Austria.
P. Caselitz, Ernährungsmöglichkeiten und Eßgewohnheiten prähistorischer Bevölkerungen. British Archaeological Reports Intern. Ser. 314 (Oxford 1986).
D. Collard et al. (ed.), Food and Drink. Archaeology 3.
S. Fallon and M. Enig, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.
P. Freedman (ed.), Food- The history of Taste.
J. Isaacs, Bush Food. Aboriginal Food and Herbal Medicine (Sydney 1994).
D. Jahn and R. Kelm, Recipes from Cooking-seminars on different topics. Cooperation between the Archaeological-Ecological Centre and the Restaurant Ohlen. Albersdorf, from 2001.
J. Renfrew, Foods and Cooking in Prehistoric Britain. History and Recipes (London 1985).
J. Santacana and J. Duran, La cuina dels Ibers. De la Ilar als fogons (2011) – Iberian cuisine.
M. Schmidt, S. Wolfram, U. Sommer and M. Kleusch, 100.000 Jahre Eßkultur – Essen und Trinken von der Steinzeit bis zu den Römern. Oerlinghausen 1996.
J. M. Solias and J. M. Huelamo, La cuina Romana. Per descobrir i practicar (2011) – Roman kitchen.
T. Tusser, 500 points of good husbandry.
Werner and J. Dummer, Steinzeit-Mahlzeit. Von den ersten Bauern bis Ötzi. Stuttgart 2013.
J. Wilkins, M. Dobson et al. (ed.), Food in Antiquity.
J. Wood, Prehistoric Cooking.
J. Wood, Food, Drink and Culinary Practices in the European Neolithic. In: R. Kelm (ed.), Vom Pfostenloch zum Steinzeithaus. Archäologische Forschung und Rekonstruktion jungsteinzeitlicher Haus- und Siedlungsbefunde im nordwestlichen Mitteleuropa. Albersdorfer Forschungen zur Archäologie und Umweltgeschichte, Bd. 1 (Heide 2000), p. 186 – 201.


Albersdorf, in May 2013

Dr. Rüdiger Kelm, Archaeological-Ecological Centre Albersdorf (AÖZA) Bahnhofstr. 23, D – 25767 Albersdorf, Germany