Prehistoric mothers breastfeed their babies in small animal shapes more than 3,000 years ago.
Scientists found a vessel containing animal milk dregs from a tomb of a Bronze child dating back to 1200 BC. The bottle is small enough for babies to hold and has small taps for feeding. This is the first evidence that prehistoric children drink animal milk when weaning.
Prehistoric bottles are small enough for babies to hold and suck.(Photo: Independent)
"The bottle looks like mythological animals. This is a testament to the creativity and joy of its makers. It really reveals the love and care of prehistoric parents." for children and show that they pay close attention to them, " said Dr. Julie Dunne, head of research at the University of Bristol, UK.
However, the team also thinks that our Neolithic ancestors used bottles in milk earlier than previously thought thousands of years ago. Weaning babies with animal milk may reduce the time they do not conceive when a mother breastfeeds. Ancient hunter-gatherers gave birth every 5 years but farmers worked to shorten the time between each pregnancy to 2 years.
Scientists are convinced that the arrival of bottles could help explain the spike in the number of children during the Neolithic period. According to Dr. Dunne, people started farming and growing grain. When settling down, they have more food available to raise their children and have more children, leading to a sharp increase in the population.
Scientists examine three bottles of milk found in the tombs of children in Bavaria. Two of them are from the early Iron Cemetery from 800 to 450 BC and the other are from the late Bronze Age.
Each bottle has a width of about 5 - 10cm and has an elongated tube that fits the baby's mouth. Because of the small size of the nozzle, it is difficult to determine what the container holds. Before analyzing the samples, the team suggested that the bottles could be used for the sick or elderly.
To understand the contents of the flask, the researchers analyzed the fatty acid chemistry from animals. They found two containers of ruminant milk, such as cattle, sheep or goats, while the other contained milk from another group of animals, such as pigs. The research results are published in Nature.