In the Neolithic period, people began to domesticate cattle, enabling them to obtain milk. However, recent research provides evidence that cheese production was also present in the territory of present-day Poland over 7,000 years ago.
Piotr Bogucki, an American archaeologist of Polish descent from Princeton University, suggested in the 1970s that ceramics from Kujawy were used for cheese production. However, it was only recently that unequivocal evidence supporting this theory was discovered.
In 2012, chemists Richard Evershed and Mélanie Roffet-Salque from the University of Bristol discovered traces of milk on the walls of ceramic sieves. Chemical analysis confirmed the presence of milk lipids characteristic of cheese production.
This discovery is particularly significant as it confirms that people in the Neolithic period not only raised cattle and utilized milk but also processed it into cheese. Traces of milk on ceramics from Kujawy represent some of the oldest evidence of cheese production in Europe.
This finding provides new insights into the food and technological practices of our ancestors, demonstrating that cheese production was already widely known and practiced in the territory of present-day Poland during the distant Neolithic times, allowing people to utilize milk in a durable and nutritious form.