Baby bottles are nothing new. At least, according to science.

Odd clay vessels found at archaeological sites in ancient European villages have stumped scientists for decades. Were these vessels pots? Were they cups? Did they have some sort of medicinal use?

It looks like scientists may have finally figured out what these ceramic cups were: baby bottles! Found in Bronze and Iron Age infant graves in Bavaria, the cups had long, thin spouts and were also decorated with geometric patterns or shaped like animals.

If this pattern-happy, animal-esque decor sounds familiar, it is. Like modern baby bottles, which are often covered in pretty prints and adorable little animals, it seems like ancient Europeans also enjoyed decorating their kiddos’ cups too.

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To determine the use of these cups, scientists examined what was left inside. After studying the carbon isotopes from two vessels they found that the ceramic containers once held either cow, sheep, goat, human or pig milk.

So what exactly does that mean? According to the research, published in the journal Nature, this may confirm that prehistoric infants were either fed milk or parents used the option to wean them.

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Rawpixel via Pexels 

 

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