From drug use to risqué fashions: How our ancient ancestors loved a good party

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It's said there’s nothing new under the sun and now researchers have discovered our ancient ancestors loved fondue parties.

Prehistoric poo samples from Austria have revealed that 2,700 years ago people were enjoying feasts of blue cheese and ale, as we reported yesterday.

And it’s not the only modern-day habit our forebears enjoyed, as James Moore reveals…

Eating takeaways: At the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, buried in ash after a volcanic blast in AD79, archaeologists unearthed 80 “fast food” joints. The Greeks came up with the first coin-operated vending machines in the same century – though you could only get holy water.

Telling gags: They say the old ones are the best and the oldest joke to be unearthed so far was a saucy gag about women farting in their husband’s laps, from 1900BC Sumeria.

Camping it up: Millions of us like getting closer to nature by setting up a tent in the country for a few days. Research suggests people were doing just that, while hunting, 8,000 years ago in the Cairngorms of Scotland.

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Pampering pooches: Dogs have been man’s best friend since we domesticated them up to 40,000 years ago. And evidence from a 14,000-year-old grave in Germany shows that a Paleolithic puppy, buried with its owners, had been cared for while sick.

Getting spicy: Even 6,000 years ago we liked spicing up our food, says research from the University of York. Burnt matter on food pots indicate our ancestors were using garlic and mustard for flavour rather than their nutritional value.

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Wearing make-up: The Neanderthals of Europe 50,000 years ago liked to look good. Archaeologists found evidence of them using shells and pigment for cosmetics. Similar research suggests they liked a hot tub too.

Partying: Stone Age jugs show we’ve been drinking alcohol for a good 12,000 years and our predecessors had social booze-ups. Archaeologists found beer troughs in Turkey, suggesting it was a vast festival site.

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Using drugs: According to Greek historian Herodotus, people in Asia were throwing marijuana on bonfires to get high. Some 800g of it was recently located in a 2,700-year-old Chinese tomb.

Munching on a big breakfast: Bronze Age Cheerio-style cereal rings have been found at an ­ancient hill fort in Austria. Analysis showed the 2-3cm shapes were made from wheat and barley, suggesting that 3,000 years ago we were just as keen to start the day with interesting-looking food.

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Wearing risqué fashions: The modern bikini was introduced in 1946, but mosaics from a Roman villa in Sicily, dating to the 4th century AD, show women wearing similar two-piece outfits while playing sports.

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