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 Betreff des Beitrags: Vanille aus Megiddo
 Beitrag Verfasst: Donnerstag 22. November 2018, 16:36 

Registriert: Mittwoch 20. November 2013, 11:20
Beiträge: 5057
Wohnort: Neo-Pi-Ramesse
Researchers have long believed that the first people to cultivate vanilla orchids were Mexico’s indigenous Totonac people in east-central Mexico about 1,000 years ago, or perhaps even a little longer. They were conquered by the Aztecs, who learned to enjoy a dash of vanilla in their hot chocolate. The Spanish, it’s believed, went on to import vanilla to Europe after conquering the Aztecs.

That, however, is not the story four small ceramic jugs at Megiddo, an archaeological site in Israel, tell. The jugs were found in an untouched Bronze Age tomb called “Tomb 50,” which dates back 3,600 years. As Bruce Bower at ScienceNews reports, the residue in the jugs contained vanillin and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, the major flavor components in vanilla, along with residue of olive oil. The research was presented by archaeologist Vanessa Linares of Tel Aviv University at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research last week.

While those compounds exist in other plants, Linares argues that only vanilla bean pods could have produced the amount found in the Bronze-Age Megiddo concoctions. “This is based on the profuse quantity of vanillin found in the juglets that could have only derived from the abundant amount of vanillin yield from the vanilla orchid pods,” she writes

So how did a product that hails from Mexico’s east coast make it to Israel 3,600 years ago? Well, it didn’t. Vanilla’s history is just as complex as its flavor profile. While cultivation of Mexican vanilla is the only one we know was used in ancient times, there are about 110 species of vanilla orchids in tropical areas around the world. It’s highly possible people had figured out how get a flavor burst from other vanilla species centuries before. Linares suggests that three vanilla species, one from East Africa, one from India or one from southeast Asia could have been in use and made it to the Middle East via trade routes in ancient times.

Archaeologist Eric Cline of George Washington University, not involved in the study, tells Bowers of ScienceNews that since there were no known trade routes between East Africa and the Middle East, he suggests the likeliest source was the V. abundiflora J.J. Sm species from southwest Asia “It’s really not surprising that vanillin reached Bronze Age Megiddo given all the trade that occurred between the [Middle East] and South Asia.”

The real question here, though, is what was the vanilla used for? “Bronze Age people at Megiddo may have used vanillin-infused oils as additives for foods and medicines, for ritual purposes or possibly even in the embalming of the dead,” Linares said in her presentation.

However it was used, the stuff was reserved for the wealthy, according to Amanda Borschel-Dan at The Times of Israel. Even today, vanilla is the second-most expensive spice behind saffron since it is difficult to cultivate and takes nine to 10 months for pods to form. In the Bronze Age, it was probably even more expensive.

That corresponds to the wealth suggestive of the occupants of the tomb it was found in. The burials included a man and woman and an 8- to-12-year-old boy, all of whom were decorated with gold and silver jewelry, an indication of their high-status position in Canaanite society. Six other bodies in the tomb found near the city gate were of lower-status individuals.

Researchers began an exhaustive investigation of the tomb last year, and that is one reason they analyzed the contents of the jugs. “The incredible state of preservation of Tomb 50 offers an important opportunity for comprehensive scientific study of the ancient population and their funerary practices,” Melissa Cradic, the Megiddo excavations expert on Canaanite funeral practices, tells The Times of Israel. “We are studying diet and health, mobility and migration, ancient DNA, organic residues, environment, and issues of identity using the osteological and material remains.”

That’s all well and good, but our minds would truly be blown if the researchers could unearth some evidence of a Bronze-Age vanilla ice cream cone.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Quelle: ... zDiu--hdSM


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  Verfasst: Donnerstag 22. November 2018, 16:36 

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