Mayans Used Clay Balls for Cooking
2012 12 07

By Cassie Ryan | TheEpochTimes



Excavation of a Mayan kitchen in Mexico has yielded numerous fired clay balls that contain microscopic food residue, such as maize, beans, and root vegetables.

Seventy-seven balls about 1 to 2 inches in diameter, and hundreds of fragments were discovered at Escalera al Cielo in Yucatán. They are made of local clay and are over 1,000 years old.

U.S. researchers worked with Millsaps College and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) to investigate what cooking techniques these balls were employed for.

“We propose that the balls were used either in pit oven cooking installations or heated and placed directly into pots containing soups/stews, or perhaps used to keep food warm,” wrote study co-author Stephanie Simms from Boston University in an email.

“We have no direct evidence of a hearth or pit oven—the clay balls appear to be in a storage location on the back corner of a kitchen where they could have been gathered up and recycled/reused—so it is also possible that they were used in another manner, perhaps heated in a cooking fire and placed directly into the cook pot.”

Pit oven cooking times vary from one to two hours up to a day or more. As suitable stone resources in this region were limited, the clay balls could have been used instead.

“This cooking method involves digging a shallow pit, lining it with stones, building a fire on top of the stones and waiting until it is reduced to embers, then placing packets of food wrapped in (maize or other) leaves or whole roots, squash fruits, etc. on top of the heated stones, and covering them with earth and leaves to seal in heat,” Simms explained.

[...]



Read the full article at: theepochtimes.com




Related Articles
Foods of the Maya World
Mayan ball court was celestial marker used to observe solstices
"Dramatic" New Maya Temple Found, Covered With Giant Faces


Latest News from our Front Page

NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
Judge says government can access everything in a Gmail account
2014 07 24
All your emails are belong to us. At least that’s what the latest court order from a judge in New York says. The warrant, granted on June 11, states that the government can access all the content and files contained in a Gmail account. Yes, this is a significant blow to privacy. The subject of this specific search relates to a money laundering ...
Scotland Yard Spied on Grieving Families: secret surveillance after police victim shot seven times in head ’by mistake’
2014 07 24
More terror from the ’anti-terror’ brigade. Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families By Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd | The Guardian Undercover police officers secretly gathered intelligence over two decades on 18 families fighting to get justice from the police, it was revealed on Thursday. The intelligence covering high-profile campaigns was collected between the mid-1980s and 2005, and affected grieving families ...
Air Algerie AH5017 with 116 onboard goes missing for hours, found crashed in Mali
2014 07 24
An Air Algerie flight carrying 110 passengers and six crew members has reportedly crashed in Mali after having disappeared from radar early on Thursday morning between Burkina Faso and Algeria. A French Ministry of Defense official told Fox News that the two French fighter jets located the wreckage of the plane, which had crashed in Mali. An airport official additionally confirmed ...
More News »