A new study has shown that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE.
Dairy production in IVC
- By analysing residues on ancient pots, researchers show the earliest direct evidence of dairy product processing, thus throwing fresh light on the rural economy of the civilization.
- The studies were carried out on 59 shards of pottery from Kotada Bhadli, a small archaeological site in present-day Gujarat.
How did they find it?
- The team used molecular analysis techniques to study the residues from ancient pottery.
- Pots are porous. The pot preserves the molecules of food such as fats and proteins. Using techniques like C16 and C18 analysis we can identify the source of lipids.
- Traces were seen in cooking vessels indicating that milk may have been boiled and consumed.
Significant outcome of the study
- The study has found residues in a bowl showing that either heated milk or curd could have been served.
- There are also remains of a perforated vessel, and similar vessels were used in Europe to make cheese.
- The Harappans did not just use dairy for their household.
- The large herd indicates that milk was produced in surplus so that it could be exchanged and there could have been some kind of trade between settlements.
- This could have given rise to an industrial level of dairy exploitation.