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Houston Matters

Unearthing An Ancient BBQ Pit

Archaeologist Dr. Andrew McCarthy and his team discovered remnants of an historic feast on the island of Cyprus.


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In 2008, Dr. Andrew McCarthy and his team of archaeologists discovered a large pit on the island of Cyprus. Based on its size and the presence of many igneous rocks lining it, he hypothesized it was an ancient barbecue pit, used for large inter-community feasts around 9,000 years ago.

However, to test that hypothesis, he had to build a replica using only tools and methods available at that time and try cooking some pig and goat meat.

He tells us about the results and what it tells us about the importance of feasting in the development of society. Dr. McCarthy, director of the Prastio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition in Cyprus, spoke Nov. 17, 2015 at an event sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America Houston Society.

Prastio Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition (Facebook)
Recreated Pit Roast Offers a Taste of Stone Age Life (Live Science, Sept. 2, 2015)

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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