THE ROLE OF WILD PLANTS IN NUTRITION OF INHABITANTS OF THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ROMAN TIME AND GREAT MIGRATION PERIOD AT PAPROTKI KOLONIA SITE 41 IN THE GREAT MAZURIAN LAKELAND
The authors aimed at: (1) evaluation of biological limitations of wild plants gathering for nutrition purposes in the neighbourhood of settlement, (2) presentation of consumption values of various vegetable raw materials and human nutritive demands, (3) evaluation of time neded to gather wild plants and to prepare a meal of them. In the experiments and comparative, historical and archaeological studies. 55 vegetable raw materials were tested. The authors assumed that the daily portion of gathered resources for the adults contains 1764 kcal/day (without a big physical activity) or 3150 kcal/day (with a big physical activity). Time needed to gather vegetable material for a meal for one person varies from 0.5 to 8 hours, and time needed to prepare raw vegetable material for consumption varies from 1 to 10 hours. The most time consuming activity was cleaning, segregation and fragmentation of roots and grinding of seeds and fruits in stony hand-mills. Preparation of most of vegetable materials gathered for consumption in wild areas takes a lot of time. Several people were involved to feed the whole family in this way. Cleaning and rinsing might have been improved with energetic movements of a sunk-in-water basket filled with vegetable material together with thick sharp-edged broken stones. Probably the time of work measured during our experiments is longer than in the past because of the the lack of skills and of the sanitary demands in modern times.
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