Did Eurasia’s Early Bronze Age Pastoralists Drink Milk?

Published Sep 17 2021 at 8:00 AM GMT
  • JENA, GERMANY—According to a UPI report, analysis of proteins trapped in dental calculus suggest that more than 90 percent of the Yamnaya herders migrating from Russia to Mongolia some 5,000 years ago were consuming milk.
  • “We did not expect such a massive shift to milk consumption right at the time of a known massive human migration,” said Nicole Boivin of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  • But research team leader Shevan Wilkin explained that this ready source of calories and hydration would have allowed early pastoralists to survive the arid steppe.
  • “The steppe is unusual as it is covered with ground forage that humans cannot eat, but animals can,” Wilkin said.
  • And yet, it was not common for adult humans to have the genetic adaptation allowing them to digest the lactose in milk at this time.



  • Published Sep 17, 2021 8:00 AM GMT