Bone spoons for prehistoric babies: Detection of human teeth marks on the Neolithic artefacts from the site Grad-Starčevo (Serbia)

Autoři: Sofija Stefanović aff001;  Bojan Petrović aff001;  Marko Porčić aff001;  Kristina Penezić aff001;  Jugoslav Pendić aff001;  Vesna Dimitrijević aff001;  Ivana Živaljević aff001;  Sonja Vuković aff002;  Jelena Jovanović aff001;  Sanja Kojić aff001;  Andrej Starović aff005;  Tamara Blagojević aff001
Působiště autorů: BioSense Institute, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia aff001;  Laboratory for Bioarchaeology, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia aff002;  Dentistry Clinic of Vojvodina, Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia aff003;  Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia aff004;  National Museum in Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225713


Around 8000 years ago, throughout the Neolithic world a new type of artefact appeared, small spoons masterly made from cattle bone, usually interpreted as tools, due to their intensive traces of use. Contrary to those interpretations, the small dimensions of spoons and presence of intensive traces of use led us to the assumption that they were used for feeding babies. In order to test that assumption we compared 2230 marks on three spoons from the Neolithic site of Grad-Starčevo in Serbia (5800−5450 cal BC) with 3151 primary teeth marks produced experimentally. This study has shown that some of the marks on spoons were made by primary teeth, which indicate their usage in feeding babies. The production of a new type of artefact to feed babies is probably related to the appearance of a new type of weaning food, and the abundance of spoons indicates that new baby gruels became an important innovation in prehistoric baby-care.

Klíčová slova:

Archaeology – Breast milk – Cattle – Neolithic period – Paleoanthropology – Radioactive carbon dating – Teeth


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