Mayans Used Clay Balls for Cooking
2012 12 07

By Cassie Ryan | TheEpochTimes



Excavation of a Mayan kitchen in Mexico has yielded numerous fired clay balls that contain microscopic food residue, such as maize, beans, and root vegetables.

Seventy-seven balls about 1 to 2 inches in diameter, and hundreds of fragments were discovered at Escalera al Cielo in Yucatán. They are made of local clay and are over 1,000 years old.

U.S. researchers worked with Millsaps College and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) to investigate what cooking techniques these balls were employed for.

“We propose that the balls were used either in pit oven cooking installations or heated and placed directly into pots containing soups/stews, or perhaps used to keep food warm,” wrote study co-author Stephanie Simms from Boston University in an email.

“We have no direct evidence of a hearth or pit oven—the clay balls appear to be in a storage location on the back corner of a kitchen where they could have been gathered up and recycled/reused—so it is also possible that they were used in another manner, perhaps heated in a cooking fire and placed directly into the cook pot.”

Pit oven cooking times vary from one to two hours up to a day or more. As suitable stone resources in this region were limited, the clay balls could have been used instead.

“This cooking method involves digging a shallow pit, lining it with stones, building a fire on top of the stones and waiting until it is reduced to embers, then placing packets of food wrapped in (maize or other) leaves or whole roots, squash fruits, etc. on top of the heated stones, and covering them with earth and leaves to seal in heat,” Simms explained.

[...]



Read the full article at: theepochtimes.com




Related Articles
Foods of the Maya World
Mayan ball court was celestial marker used to observe solstices
"Dramatic" New Maya Temple Found, Covered With Giant Faces


Latest News from our Front Page

Fukushima radiation killing children, government hiding the truth
2014 04 22
Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba, a town near the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant, is warning his country that radiation contamination is affecting Japan’s greatest treasure - its children. Asked about government plans to relocate the people of Fatuba to the city of Iwaki, inside the Fukushima prefecture, Idogawa criticized the move as a "violation of human rights." Compared with Chernobyl, radiation ...
Why your fingerprints may not be unique
2014 04 22
Assumption that everyone has a unique fingerprint from which they can be identified through a computer database is flawed, says Home Office expert Mike Silverman Fingerprint evidence linking criminals to crime scenes has played a fundamental role in convictions in Britain since the first forensic laboratory was set up in Scotland Yard in 1901. But the basic assumption that everyone has a ...
Asteroids cause dozens of nuclear-scale blasts in Earth’s atmosphere
2014 04 22
Asteroids caused 26 nuclear-scale explosions in the Earth’s atmosphere between 2000 and 2013, a new report reveals. Some were more powerful – in one case, dozens of times stronger – than the atom bomb blast that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 with an energy yield equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT. Most occurred too high in the atmosphere to cause any serious damage ...
‘Editing DNA’ to eliminate genetic conditions now a reality
2014 04 22
Scientists have employed a revolutionary genome-editing computer technique that accurately identifies one faulty genetic “letter” among billions and effortlessly repairs a genetic condition in animals, paving way for human trials. The success, by MIT in Boston, is the latest achievement in the field of genome editing that has been catapulted into the spotlight through a technology that can pinpoint genetic faults ...
EU should ’undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief
2014 04 22
The EU should "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states, the UN’s special representative for migration has said. Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural. He also suggested the UK government’s immigration policy had no basis in international law. He was being quizzed by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee ...
More News »