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Dhaka Tribune

Study suggests our ancestors really were cannibals

Update : 17 Apr 2015, 09:11 PM

New research suggests that some of our human ancestors may have been cannibals.

Ancient remains from a known archaeological site confirm that a group of humans were butchered, carved and eaten, says a BBC report. These remains come from Gough’s Cave in Somerset, England, which was last excavated in 1992.

However, scientists have continued to analyse the marks on the bones found at this site.

Radiocarbon dating has revealed that the remains, which include human and animal bones, were placed in this cave over a very short time period almost 15,000 years ago.

Silvia Bello of London’s Natural History Museum said her team had identified much more modification than previously recorded.

“We’ve found undoubting evidence for defleshing, disarticulation, human chewing, crushing of spongy bone, and the cracking of bones to extract marrow,” she said.

And if that was not damming enough, they also found human tooth marks.

The early modern humans living at Gough’s Cave were Magdalenians, a cultural group of hunter-gatherers who originated in southwest Europe. They probably entered Britain from Belgium and the Netherlands as the climate warmed up around 15,000 years ago.

The new evidence suggests that cannibalism during the Magdalenian period was part of a customary mortuary practice that combined intensive processing and consumption of the bodies.

Co-author of the work, Simon Parfitt of University College, London said: “A recurring theme of this period is the remarkable rarity of burials and how commonly we find human remains mixed with occupation waste at many sites.” 

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