Widespread exploitation of the honeybee by early Neolithic farmers

@article{RoffetSalque2015WidespreadEO,
  title={Widespread exploitation of the honeybee by early Neolithic farmers},
  author={M{\'e}lanie Roffet-Salque and Martine Regert and Richard P. Evershed and Alan K Outram and Lucy J. E. Cramp and Oreste Decavallas and Julie Dunne and Pascale Gerbault and Simona Mileto and Sigrid Mirabaud and Mirva P{\"a}{\"a}kk{\"o}nen and Jessica Smyth and Lucija {\vS}oberl and Helen L. Whelton and Alfonso Alday-Ruiz and Henrik Asplund and Marta Bartkowiak and Eva Bayer-Niemeier and Lotfi Belhouchet and Federico Bernardini and Mihael Budja and Gabriel Cooney and Miriam Cubas and Ed M. Danaher and M. Ad{\'e}lia Diniz and L{\'a}szl{\'o} Dombor{\'o}czki and Cristina Fabbri and Jes{\'u}s Gonz{\'a}lez-Urquijo and Jean Guilaine and Slimane Hachi and Barrie Hartwell and Daniela Hofmann and Isabel Hohle and Juan Jos{\'e} Ib{\'a}{\~n}ez and Necmi Karul and Farid Kherbouche and Jacinta Kiely and Kostas Kotsakis and Friedrich Lueth and James P. Mallory and Claire Manen and Arkadiusz Marciniak and Brigitte Maurice-Chabard and Martin A. Mc Gonigle and Simone Mulazzani and Mehmet {\"O}zdoǧan and Olga S. Peri{\'c} and Slavi{\vs}a Peri{\'c} and J{\"o}rg Petrasch and A. M. Petrequin and Pierre P{\'e}trequin and Ulrike Poensgen and Chris R. J. Pollard and François Poplin and Giovanna Radi and Peter Stadler and Harald St{\"a}uble and Nenad Tasi{\'c} and Dushka Urem-Kotsou and Jasna Vukovi{\'c} and Fintan Walsh and Alasdair Whittle and S. Wolfram and Lydia Zapata-Pe{\~n}a and Jamel Zoughlami},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2015},
  volume={527},
  pages={226-230}
}
The pressures on honeybee (Apis mellifera) populations, resulting from threats by modern pesticides, parasites, predators and diseases, have raised awareness of the economic importance and critical role this insect plays in agricultural societies across the globe. However, the association of humans with A. mellifera predates post-industrial-revolution agriculture, as evidenced by the widespread presence of ancient Egyptian bee iconography dating to the Old Kingdom (approximately 2400 bc). There… 
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Organic residue analyses of archaeological pottery, taxonomic and isotopic study of domestic animal remains and biomolecular analyses of human dental calculus suggest that milk was processed in ceramic vessels, and the first compound-specific radiocarbon dates for the region are presented.
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Organic residue analysis of pottery from prehistoric sites in the southern Levant suggests that beehive products from likely wild bees were used during the Chalcolithic period as a vessel surface treatment and/or as part of the diet.
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It is demonstrated that dietary proteins can persist on archaeological artefacts for at least 8000 years, and that this approach can reveal past culinary practices with more taxonomic and tissue-specific clarity than has been possible with previous biomolecular techniques.
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