Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 47–62

What’s for dinner? Processed food in the coastal area of the northern Netherlands in the Late Neolithic

  • Lucy Kubiak-Martens
  • Otto Brinkkemper
  • Tania F. M. Oudemans
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00334-014-0485-8

Cite this article as:
Kubiak-Martens, L., Brinkkemper, O. & Oudemans, T.F.M. Veget Hist Archaeobot (2015) 24: 47. doi:10.1007/s00334-014-0485-8


In the coastal area of the northwestern part of the Netherlands, dozens of sites dating to the Single Grave culture (or Corded Ware culture; 2850–2450 cal bc) have been located. Some of the sites have been excavated in the last decades of the 20th century. Within the framework of the Odyssey project of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the excavated materials from three sites (Keinsmerbrug, Mienakker and Zeewijk) could be fully analysed. The results of archaeobotanical research, including the combined botanical and chemical analyses of organic residues (crusts) in ceramics, as well as the study of isolated remains of processed plant food and charred remains of parenchymatous tissue are presented. It is extremely challenging to find out what kind of food people prepared in the past and to determine actual prehistoric vessel use, to understand what kind of meals people prepared in ceramic vessels, what pots they used for what kind of foods, and if they used the same types of pots for the same foods all the time. The results obtained for the three sites are compared to the existing, dichotomous model developed for habitation of the Single Grave culture in the area, with small special activity sites and large permanent settlements.


Late Neolithic Single Grave culture Archaeobotany Cultivation and gathering Parenchyma Organic residues Chemical analysis 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucy Kubiak-Martens
    • 1
  • Otto Brinkkemper
    • 2
  • Tania F. M. Oudemans
    • 3
  1. 1.BIAX ConsultBiological Archaeology & Environmental ReconstructionZaandamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Cultural Heritage AgencyAmersfoortThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Kenaz Consult for Advice and Analysis in Biomolecular ArchaeologyBerlinGermany

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