© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Archaeological potsherds have become a valuable source of information about diet and economic practices of past societies. We have studied the organic residues in prehistoric pottery from the Neolithic rock shelter of La Cueva de El Toro (Málaga, Spain) that was continuously occupied from the second quarter of the sixth millennium to the second millennium cal BC. The site of Cueva de El Toro is remarkable because it contains evidence that its inhabitants possessed a high technological level and complex subsistence practices based on the exploitation of livestock and agriculture. By applying gas chromatographic-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and isotopic analysis (GC-IRMS), the goal was to determine the nature and origin of preserved lipids, and thereby provide new insights into food preparation and pottery function. Detection of fatty acids and traces of diterpene compounds originating from plants suggested a consumption of meat, dairy products and plants, as well as the pine resin utilisation. Furthermore, this work allows extending the data on faunal management and exploitation in Cueva de El Toro.
- Dairy products