Cheddar Man was a member of a nomadic hunter community that lived during the middle stone age, also known as the mesolithic period, around 10,000 years ago. These were the hunter-gatherers of Western Europe, whose remains have been discovered in Spain, Luxembourg, and Hungary. The name "cheddar man" was given to him by archaeologists who found him buried with his teeth chipped from chewing cheese! He had long black hair and brown eyes.
He was discovered in 1903 by Arthur Smith, an English farmer, while digging a well on his property in Gough's Stone, near Salisbury, Wiltshire. The well had been dug without permission, so when Mr. Smith showed police the site where he had found the bones, they took him to see if more could be learned about the man. More than 100 other skeletons were later uncovered at this site, which is now a museum called the Stone Age Museum. It's not exactly cheddar cheese, but it does include some of the most important evidence available about how people lived during this time.
His body was very well preserved because of the cold climate in which he was found, so scientists were able to estimate his age at death to be between 35 and 40 years old. They also knew he had been in the grave for several hundred years because plants were growing out of his body. Scientists used these clues to piece together what life was like for Cheddar Man.
He appeared to have died in a brutal manner. A big crater-like lesion immediately above the right orbit of the skull shows that the guy may have also had a bone infection. Cheddar Man, discovered in 1903, is Britain's oldest intact human skeleton. He was named after the town where he was found near Cheeseborough in South Yorkshire.
The Cheddar Man would have been about 5' 11" tall and of fairly stocky build. He had dark hair and eyes and probably came from a family of farmers or shepherds. When he died, he was about 51 years old. He'd have been living in a time when the world was changing fast. Iron tools were becoming more common place and horses were being used as a form of transport. But the Cheddar Man lived before all this happened - he was already an old man when bronze weapons came into use and armies started fighting each other on a large scale.
It's not known exactly how the Cheddar Man died but it's possible that he suffered a brain injury when a heavy object fell on his head. The hole in his skull is about 1 foot across and researchers think it may have been caused by a sharp piece of wood or a stone axe.
Cheese, on the other hand, was already well-known among the Sumerians. Preserved cheese from 1615 BC was discovered in Xinjiang, China's Taklamakan Desert. Archeologists from Cairo University and the University of Catania announced the discovery of Egypt's earliest known cheese in 2018. It was made from goat's milk and was similar to modern-day ricotta.
The oldest complete cheese has been dated to 7500 BC, based on analysis of its ingredients. It was found in a cave near Jerusalem that had been used for shelter and storage for at least 9000 years.
Israel is one of only a few countries in the world where ancient cheeses have been found. In 2001, archaeologists uncovered a large jar filled with creamy white cheese while excavating a site known as "Ubaoth" (meaning "storehouse" in Hebrew). The jar was sealed with clay about 6,000 years old and contained bits of cereal that may have been used to flavor the cheese.
According to researchers, this shows that people were making cheese at least 5,000 years ago!
In conclusion, ancient cheeses have been found all over the world in sites such as caves, jars, or even underground shelters. Cheese has always been important to humans because it is nutritious and easy to make from milk.
It is around 3200 years old and was unearthed in the Saqqara necropolis. Previously, cheese-like remnants were discovered in a funeral feast in an Egyptian tomb dating approximately 2900 BC. Around 2000 BC, visual evidence of Egyptian cheesemaking was discovered in Egyptian tomb murals. Cheese making probably began as a food preservation method for the ancient Egyptians, who had no knowledge of bacteria or milk proteins that would come later.
Cheese has been found in many ancient cultures, but it is only in recent times that it has become popular again. The ancient Romans are known to have used goat's milk cheese, while some German historians believe that the ancient Germans made a type of hard cheese with almonds.
In Europe, cheese making arrived together with refugees from Greece and Italy. They brought their skills with them and started small-scale operations by planting milk-producing plants (such as cows, goats, and sheep) inside farms or villas that they rented. Some farmers even kept pigs so they could make raw milk cheese. It wasn't until about 500 AD that the first industrial factories for making cheese appeared. These factories used the latest technology available at the time, including mechanical pumps, which allowed for more efficient production of cheese.
For most of human history, there has been very little cheese consumed because it was not easy to transport or store. But as our society changes, so does cheese.
There is a legend, with variants, about an Arab trader who discovered cheese by using this method of keeping milk. The earliest archaeological evidence of cheesemaking goes back to 5500 BCE and is located in what is now Kuyavia, Poland, where strainers coated with milk-fat molecules have been discovered. These are thought to be evidence of early forms of cottage and hard cheeses.
The legend says that an Arab merchant visited a village outside of Prague and was given permission to trade there. He brought spices, silk cloth, and other goods and, on his way out of the city, stopped at a dairy to drink some milk. The dairy keeper warned him not to eat any of the cheese because it was considered food for the gods but the Arab laughed at this idea and ate some anyway. When he returned home, he told his traders to sell all their goods quickly before they went bad because they would not get any money back for them.
This story has been used as an example of cultural relativism, the belief that one must accept another culture's right to its own beliefs. It has also been used to explain why many Arabs continue to follow Islam even though it means eating pork.
It lists several kinds of cheese, including one called "mizith" which may have been similar to modern-day Parmesan.