A trademark for the historical traceability of agri-food production

 Italian version


What “Prehistoric Food” is and what is going to become of it.

Archaeological investigations at the proto-historic settlement of Gorgo del Ciliegio (Sansepolcro – AR) and studies still in progress (Research of the University of Siena and of the Quaternary Study Centre of Sansepolcro) have contributed to our knowledge about diet and use of plants by the Bronze Age Communities.

Gorgo del Ciliegio is located in the Afra valley and dates back to 3500 years ago. Excavations at this site  brought to light, together with the remains of a large dwelling, several vessels, chipped stone artefacts, grindstones, bones of mainly domestic animals and large quantities of burnt wood and seeds. Inside the dwelling, close to the hearth, a capacious fragmented soup tureen was recovered upside down. Its content, composed of burnt remains of a cereal and legume soup, was scattered nearby.

Reconstruction of the clay pots found at the "Gorgo del Ciliegio" excavation site

The "Gorgo del Ciliegio Soup"


 “Prehistoric Food” originates from this research, initially from the idea of bringing the soup of Gorgo del Ciliegio back onto our tables with the same ingredients directly found at the site, as well as a set of other ingredients (mainly as condiments) whose occurrence has been indirectly proved by palaeobotanic (domestic and wild plants) and archaeozoological (domestic and wild animals) studies concerning the Bronze Age.

Regarding the research field, “Prehistoric Food” intends to contribute to the recovery and re-introduction of plants (cereals, legumes as well as fruits) used in the past and to provide a historical traceability for vegetable and animal foods through: 

-morphological and molecular study of vegetable and animal species from archaeological excavations, carried out also by means of innovative biotechnology;

-analysis, identification and determination of food residues which were trapped in vessels and various kinds of implements;

-creation of a general corpus of plants known and possibly used during Prehistory.

These investigation outcomes, if correctly integrated, can help preservation of Biodiversity and provide useful solutions in the field of nutraceutics in general, and in prevention and treatment of food intolerances/allergies in particular, given the worrying increase of this phenomenon in modern populations.

Moreover “Prehistoric Food” intends to promote a more wide-ranging project involving the Upper Tiber valley territory also at a social and economic level, in order to help the development of a widespread culture of safe food and healthy diets through:

-organization of  convivial thematic meetings open to the Community whereby food cooked with the original, even if nourishing and tasty, ingredients will be offered;

-creation, in collaboration with “Archeofood”, of a gastronomic “historically certified” route aimed at proposing thematic menus of a Prehistoric/Archaeological nature;

-involvement of local farms operating in the biological agri-food sector.


 “Prehistoric Food” is food for research, culture, health; in a word: food for the future. More simply “Prehistoric Food” offers the opportunity of staying together and socializing, as well as providing knowledge and enhancing our ancient origins through an instrument not usually used in this context: our taste buds.

Gianpiero Laurenzi, CeSQ vice president (at the left) and other participants at the "prehistoric dinner"



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