New York: Archaeologists have found the earliest-known use of pumpkin spice nutmeg which was used as a food ingredient 3,500 years ago.
The team from the University of Washington found nutmeg at an archaeological site on Pulau Ay, a small island in the Banda Islands, central Maluku, Indonesia.
The spice was found as residue on ceramic potsherds and is estimated to be 3,500 years old -- about 2,000 years older than the previously known use of the spice.
The team led by Peter Lape, Professor at the varsity, found nutmeg not only on the pottery but also on the residue from six other plants including sago and purple yam.
These plants could have been collected from wild plants, or possibly cultivated through farming, Lape said, in the paper published in the journal Asian Perspectives.
"It's also fascinating to see such early use of nutmeg, a spice that changed the world a few thousand years later," he added.