What Did Humans Eat in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, humans were hunter-gatherers, and their diet mainly consisted of what they could hunt and gather in their surroundings. They were dependent on the availability of food in their immediate environment, which varied depending on the region and season. Let’s explore what humans ate in ancient times.

Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle

Hunter-gatherers were nomadic people who traveled from place to place in search of food. They hunted wild animals, gathered fruits, nuts, and berries, and also fished. Their diet was high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fats.


Meat was a staple in the hunter-gatherer’s diet. They hunted animals such as deer, bison, elk, wild boar, and birds for meat. The meat was cooked over an open fire or roasted on hot stones.

Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables were gathered from the wild. Berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries were a common source of food during summers. During winters vegetables like roots and tubers became a staple in their diets.

Grains & Seeds

Hunter-gatherers did not have access to cultivated grains like wheat or rice but they consumed wild grains like acorns or seeds like chia seeds as per availability.

Agriculture Revolution

The Agricultural revolution changed the way humans lived around 10k BCE when people started domesticating plants and animals for food production.

Cultivated Grains

Cultivated grains like wheat, rice became a significant part of human diets after agriculture revolution around 10k BCE.

Dairy Products

Domestication of animals also lead to the consumption of dairy products like milk which was previously not consumed by humans due to lactose intolerance.


Legumes like beans and lentils were also cultivated during the agricultural revolution and became a staple in many diets.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, ancient humans consumed a diet that was based on hunting, gathering and later agriculture. Their diet was high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and fats.

They consumed meat, fruits, vegetables, grains & seeds as per availability. With the advent of agriculture revolution around 10k BCE the humans started consuming more cultivated grains like wheat and rice along with dairy products like milk.