A recent study found that prehistoric babies drank milk from ceramic sippy cups, including some with cute animal motifs.
A team of archaeologists found microscopic traces of livestock milk in three of the containers: two from Iron Age graves in Germany dating between 800 and 450 BCE, and a broken one from a much earlier Bronze Age grave nearby.
The results suggest that feeding babies milk from livestock may have helped early European farming populations grow and expand.
“Infants and children were mainly ignored in archaeology until about 20 years ago,” anthropologist Sian Halcrow of the University of Otago, who was not involved in the study, told Ars Technica.
“Research projects that are interested in children are starting to re-examine previous assumptions about activities and objects in archaeology—some items that were thought to be ritualistic are in fact child toys.”
That may sound like child’s play—or at least like a really esoteric research interest.