Ancient Andeans: Mostly Plant-Based Diet

A new study has shed light on the true diet of ancient Andeans, revealing that it was mostly comprised of plants and not meat, as was previously believed. The study, which was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, provides valuable insights into the culinary practices of the ancient Andean people, and challenges the commonly held notion that their diet was primarily based on animal protein.

For the study, researchers analyzed the remains of over 200 individuals from three ancient Andean societies: the Nasca, the Wari, and the Tiwanaku. By examining the carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the bones and teeth of these individuals, the researchers were able to determine the proportion of plant and animal-based foods in their diet.

The results of the study were surprising. Contrary to popular belief, the researchers found that the ancient Andeans relied heavily on plant-based foods such as maize, quinoa, and potatoes, and that meat made up only a small portion of their diet. This finding challenges the prevailing narrative that the Andean people were primarily hunter-gatherers, and suggests that they were in fact skilled agriculturalists who cultivated and consumed a wide variety of plant-based foods.

The study also revealed that the diet of the ancient Andeans was remarkably diverse, with evidence of consumption of a wide range of plants, including fruits, vegetables, and grains. This suggests that the Andeans had a sophisticated understanding of agriculture and were able to cultivate a wide variety of crops in the challenging mountainous terrain of the Andes.

These findings have significant implications for our understanding of the dietary practices of ancient Andean societies. They challenge the commonly held belief that the Andeans were primarily dependent on animal protein for sustenance, and instead suggest that they had a much more varied and plant-based diet than previously thought.

The implications of this study extend beyond just the dietary habits of the ancient Andeans. They also have important implications for our understanding of the development of agriculture in the Andean region, and the ways in which ancient societies were able to sustain themselves in challenging geographical and climatic conditions.

In conclusion, the new study on the true diet of ancient Andeans challenges long-held assumptions about their culinary practices, and provides valuable insights into the agricultural and dietary practices of these ancient societies. By revealing that their diet was mostly comprised of plants and not meat, the study adds a new dimension to our understanding of the Andean people and their remarkable ability to thrive in a challenging environment.