Hidden Foods will develop a suite of methodological and experimental approaches in order to identify evidence of plant foods processing and consumption in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic societies of Southeastern Europe. Hidden Foods analytical approaches will involve:

Hidden foods work packages:

WP-1 Improving methodological framework

Creating an experimental collection of utilized ground stones and wild edible plants in order to understand use-wear traces development, starch granules preservation and changes in starch visibility due the physical state of processed plants and multiple uses of the same tool in different activities.
WP-2 Functional analysis of ground stone tools

Identifying species of plants processed with ground stones during the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic in Italy and the Balkans.
WP-3 Recovery of macro-botanical during fieldwork

Organizing flotation and sampling for recovering palaeobotanical remains from archaeological excavations, sampling starch granules from sediments and selecting samples for radiocarbon dating.
WP-4 Identification and interpretation of archaeological plant remains

Recognising macro-botanical remains and micro-fossils related to plant food processing and consumption in archaeological sediments and human dental calculus.
WP-5 Analysis of dental pathologies, masticatory wear and health status

Investigating the impact of plant foods on ancient hunter-gatherers’ health through the analysis of dental pathologies and the disease-associated oral microbiota caused by the consumption of plants rich in carbohydrates.
WP-6 Defining social preferences in dietary strategies

Identifying the social basis of specific dietary strategies and the possible existence of preferences in foragers’ diet established on a gender and/or age basis.
WP-7 Chronology

Estimating when plant foods started being used in foragers’ diet and understanding the tempo of Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic technological innovations related to plant processing.