Archaeologist Curtis Marean of Arizona State University and colleagues discovered that early humans threw a themselves a clambake beach party 164,000 years ago!
Marean figured the early people, probably women, had to trudge two to three miles to where the mussels, clams and snails were harvested and to bring them back to the cave. Then they put them over hot rocks to cook. When the food was done, the shells popped open in a process similar to modern-day mussel-steaming, but without the pot.
Marean and colleagues tried out that ancient cooking technique in a kind of archaeological test kitchen.
"We've prepped them the same way," Marean said in telephone interview from South Africa. "They're a little less moist (than modern steamed mussels). They definitely lose some moisture."
Marean also found 57 pieces of ground-up rock that would have been reddish- or pinkish-brown. That would be used for self-decoration and sending social signals to other people, much the way makeup is used now, he said.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/10/17/early.seafood.ap/index.html - Thanks Tiffany!