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These are garbage piles of food remains found on the coasts of shallow bodies of water, such as bays. Usually, they contain groups of shellfish consumed by nearby communities. These are great indicators of when fishing became a key method for early prehistoric communities to sustain themselves.
The Vedbaek cemetery
There were a series of burial offerings discovered in this Danish site, which is estimated to date back to 4800 B.C. One grave had an adult woman decorated with snail shells and deer teeth. This gives scientists more insight into the development of burial practices among prehistoric peoples.
This is an archaeological site in Florida dating back to the Archaic period, which encompassed the 6th millennium B.C. The discovery of this area was notable because the wet conditions provided by the nearby pond meant that usually perishable materials, such as wood, bone, and antler, were preserved here. There were even some human brains that survived and were found at this site. This was a valuable discovery because of the insight it gives into what perishable tools ancient North American civilization used.
In general, finding charred seeds, animal bone fragments or grain remains helps archaeologists track the development of Prehistoric nutrition. Because of these remains, archaeologists have deduced that the ancients were able to breed bigger grains and fruits, as well as slowly domesticate dogs, horses, and cattle.
Of particular interest is the difference between the bones of tender, young cows found at older archaeological sites and the older bones found at more recent sites. This seems to indicate that later civilizations preferred cattle for their milk instead of beef. Clay strainers and baskets show up at sites after 5000 B.C., which makes that the cutoff for when cheese processing started becoming popular.
Middle Eastern sites
The archaeological excavations in the eastern Mediterranean area provide examples of some the oldest Prehistoric civilizations. For example, the Jericho site in Israel has artifacts as far back as 10500 B.C. but has levels across the millennia. Experts have been able to confirm that it was an active trade center for salt, turquoise, and obsidian, as well as a majorly fortified city compared to its contemporaries.
This site is located in the Indus River valley and provides artifacts ranging from 6000 to 4000 B.C. In the older parts of the site, excavators have found some graves with carnelian and others with lapis lazuli, perhaps a sign of social rank. Also, this site has some of the earliest examples of dentistry, with some teeth having deliberately drilled holes that survived chewing afterwards. In newer parts of the site, there are bones of zebu cattle, which showed a shift from the species being hunted to becoming a domestication project.
This is a relatively newer site located in Louisiana, with artifacts ranging from 3000 BC to 1200 BC. This site provided some of the earliest evidence of food producers in North America before older evidence was found in Mexico. This site is also important for providing of the earliest mound cultures that would later pop up across the North American continent.
This is another site in the later Prehistoric period, a Peruvian center from 2500 to 1800 B.C. This is the largest example of early masonry in the Americas, as it houses many grinding stones, wooden tools, and textile equipment.
This Mediterranean island is home to artifacts ranging from 4000 to 2000 B.C., including tombs with huge stone sculptures of women. Archaeologists have theorized whether these were fertility goddesses or queens.