Thursday, November 12, 2015

9,000 Year Old Honey?

Well, not quite. Archaeologists have discovered beeswax residue in pottery that old - indicating that humans were collecting beeswax (and thus likely also honey) that long ago.

Honey is a valuable sweetener. I wonder, though, what they were doing with the beeswax. As far as we know true dipped candles weren't invented until 500 BC.

They did already have dairy cattle, so maybe they were using it to preserve cheese? Beeswax can also be used to reduce wear on wooden and metal tools - they didn't have metal yet, but they probably used wooden handles. They could have been waxing thread or waterproofing and polishing their shoes. Oh, and beeswax is good for your skin and hair.

Which makes me wonder. Which did we start domesticating bees for. Was it their honey, likely the only sweetener they had available other than fresh fruit? Or was it the amazingly useful beeswax, unlike any other substance people had?