We all know the Swiss are good at making cheese, but we just learned that they have been making it since prehistoric times! Archaeologists believe they have found evidence of cheese-making in the Swiss Alps dating all the way back to the Iron Age (about 1000 BC or 3000 years ago)! The team of scientists discovered residues left on pottery fragments that closely resemble what is left after heating sheep, cow, and goat’s milk to make cheese. The fragments were found in the ruins of stone buildings that look very similar to what modern Alpine cheese-makers use today. Although archaeologists have found evidence of even earlier cheese-making at lower altitudes, this is the first evidence of when this process began in high areas. They believe that dairy farmers were forced to take their cheese-making higher up into the Alps when the population began to explode in the valleys below. The team hopes to continue their research on the pottery fragments to learn more about the particular kinds of cheese they were making prehistorically, but they believe that these Iron Age dairy farmers were making the great great great grandfather of the Raclette and Gruyere we enjoy stuffing our faces with today. Yumm! Now that is some old cheese!
Want to learn more? Visit https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160421141507.htm
April 25, 2016