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Prehistoric People Ate Each Other, Bones Show! Mmmmm

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posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 03:02 PM
A new method of identifying human gnaw marks on bones suggest early humans got nutrition from each other's flesh

A rib bone is shown with damage left behind after a European experimenter chewed on the bone using back teeth.

Prehistoric humans, along with Neanderthals and Homo antecessor, made meals of each other, suggests new research on probable human teeth marks found on prehistoric human bones. The findings, which will be published in the January issue of The Journal of Human Evolution, support prior theories that the first humans to re-colonize Britain after the last ice age practiced nutritional cannibalism 12,000 years ago at a site called Gough's Cave in what is now Somerset, England.

"Think that a member of your group dies," Fernandez-Jalvo told Discovery News. "The body can give one day off from hunting, which was always dangerous at that time, and what to do with the dead body that may attract other dangerous carnivores that may attack the group." "This could be a good solution," she added, reminding that cannibalism does not always mean the cannibal killed the consumed individual.

To determine what patterns humans leave behind when they chew or gnaw on bones, the researchers had four different groups of European people chew raw and cooked meat bones from various animals. The scientists also studied bones, now in a museum, which were chewed in the 1960's by the Koi people of Namibia. The Koi tended not to cook food as much as the Europeans did, so the researchers wanted to see what kind of damage they left behind on discarded bones. The scientists also analyzed fossilized bone collections from ancient hominid sites in Spain, the U.K. and the Caucasus region.


Well, I guess this is no big stretch of the imagination but.... when did it stop and why? By who, who said: Enough of this crap.....?

I find it interesting they narrow it down to the back teeth. Makes sense and I don't doubt their findings. I am just glad I wasn't around for it.

Of course, it always brings up that ever emortal question... Would you eat a human? Or rather.. (as I believe under the right circumstances-we all would to survive) at what point do you give in and say sevre me up some thigh? Think about it.

If you need more visual thoughts, watch the movie ALIVE. About the Brazillian Rubgy team that crashed in a plane wreck in the high Andes.

edit on 12/16/2010 by anon72 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12/16/2010 by anon72 because: spelling

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 03:12 PM
Was probably a blue blood ritual... I mean really, how often do you crave eating another person?
edit on 16-12-2010 by Bonified Ween because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 03:15 PM
Tastes like chicken.
mmmmm... real baby back ribs.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 03:21 PM
I imagine that it was mostly because of a lack of food. Desparation has no limits. If it comes down to it, I will eat my neighbor, feed it to the kids like bbq.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 03:28 PM
But wait, there are some here on ATS that suggested prehistoric people were just a bunch of loving hippies and we should strive to get back to that...heh

Anyhow, reminds me of an anne rice book (queen of the damned) that spoke of cannibalism being not only commonplace, but actually a honored your loved ones so you ingest part of them and they live on in you...

I am not sure how much historical research anne does in her books, but sure...why not. makes a bit more sense than just stuffing the dead into the ground...serves many functions overall.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 03:29 PM
Just to clarify things:

The findings support the idea that some prehistoric humans practiced nutritional cannibalism.

So this was not common practice even then. Also i highly doubt that it was indeed member of the group that was a meal,instead of captured outsiders.
Morals change with time and higher cultural/technological/social development phased it out. Not to mention higher rate of infections in tribes that were cannibals thus lesser chances of success. My guess is that this habit was not widespread in the beginning and in majority of minority that did practice it ,the habit died pretty early - when religions appeared.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 04:48 PM
I would think it had to do with survival. We know that even 20th century man is capable of performing this act out of sheer desperation, or even custom in some cases.
We don't know exactly what these peoples lives were like, we don't know all of the problems they had to contend with, we're not certain exactly what the weather was like and/or if any food was available to them.
Every single hominid that has come down from the trees, with the exception of us, has gone extinct. Whether we were just the lucky ones, or the cause of the others extinction is up for speculation.
A dead body would draw predators for miles around, not what you would want in any case - especially if game were already scarce.
At any rate, I'm glad they did what they did. They did it to survive. It's because of the choices they made, that we can be here and bicker about aliens, and ufo's, god and religion, politics and conspiracies.
If it came down to life or death, yes - I would.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:02 PM

Originally posted by SaturnFX
Anyhow, reminds me of an anne rice book (queen of the damned) that spoke of cannibalism being not only commonplace, but actually a honored your loved ones so you ingest part of them and they live on in you...

Jeffry Dalmer was a mass murderer who claimed that eating his victims made them live on in his body.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:16 PM
**note to self**
in the post apocalyptic wastelands of the Midwest.. run faster than the hungry.... especially faster than that Liejunkie01 and his/her pack of hungry kids.

This story is neat, but not shocking. Times of hunger.. eat the slow, weak, dead or sick. In times of religious fervor, eat whomever for whatever religious reason. Times of psychiatric chaos.. eat folks cause youre lonely or because the little voice in your head told you that if you eat them you wont be infected by the vampire bug ( actual reason a loon gave for his cannibalism in the 80's).

Voila.. I explained it all.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:21 PM

Originally posted by sara123123

Originally posted by SaturnFX
Anyhow, reminds me of an anne rice book (queen of the damned) that spoke of cannibalism being not only commonplace, but actually a honored your loved ones so you ingest part of them and they live on in you...

Jeffry Dalmer was a mass murderer who claimed that eating his victims made them live on in his body.


Serial killer... not mass murderer.. big difference.
He also had sex with the guts and showered with rotting corpses.. so I doubt his viewpoint is really valid here.
I get what you are saying though, but that was only one reason. Deitz who was the psych on the case when it went to trial said the actual murders were an unfortunate aside to the crimes that he was actually trying to accomplish. Cannibalism and murder were not the root of the problem. That eating them due to being lonely wasnt his main goal.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:35 PM
honestly is this meant to be some sort of surprise?

For a start it makes total sense to eat an enemy

But If YOU were in a Hot hair balloon that crashed in no-mans land and it was a matter of you eat the dead bodies or die.... You would eat the bodies, either that or survival of the fittest kicks in and you would die.

To eat an enemy you not only imbue his life force you also get his fats, meat, protein etc also from and esoteric point of view you also take his spirit and his power.

posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 09:23 PM
In a twist type of irony, we had ribs for dinner.

Guess what I was thining about....

Merry Christmas.

posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 11:24 AM
reply to post by anon72

posted on Dec, 17 2010 @ 11:35 AM
The reason human eating humans has stopped is due to diseases that can be caught through doing it.

The Disease is called Kuru.

Basically, it is like mad cow disease, but for humans. They have what you call, Ticks. And basically that is a crackhead moment.

If you have ever met a crackhead or meth-head, you would know what I am talking about.

Pretty interesting human meat is the only way we can get sick. Eating cow, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, pork, alligator, ostrich, and the list goes on can be eaten, if its fresh of course.

posted on Dec, 19 2010 @ 10:12 AM
This is really hard for me to believe. Do you have a link to the article, it seems really vague. A more likely explanation is that they were just chewing the bones to relieve pain or get stuck food out of their teeth like we do.

posted on Dec, 19 2010 @ 11:06 AM
reply to post by chr1z

Here's the link:
After some digs I been to...
I've seen actual bone combs, brushes and 'toothpicks'.
From thousands of years ago.
The bones were shaped for the job.

There are rituals all over the world that practice this, even today.
Even after reading articles about this...I assume it was survival, or gut hunger.

Not dentistry.

edit on 19-12-2010 by havok because: Added a link

posted on Dec, 19 2010 @ 11:31 AM
no suprise. Weren't there people that ate each other in New Guinea or somewhere even 50-60 years ago?

and (faux) cannibalism is still in effect today. Every time someone eats Jesus' body (host) and drinks his blood (wine).

posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 03:33 PM
I also read that Anne Rice book, and honestly, I could see that practise taking place. It makes sense enough, culturally/religiously, etc. Of course, I don't know how much fact, history or research went into that particular part of the book, but it wouldn't surprise me if some ancient civilisation had a similar view on it.

Of course, I'm sure people have eaten each other for survival since mankind even came around, as we've seen even in more modern stories.

Now, if we're asking the question of whether we would ever eat human flesh- aside from the medical/health risks that accompany it, I wouldn't be so opposed to trying a human steak. Apparantly, we're supposed to taste like chicken.

posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 03:48 PM
Most cultures have practiced this at some point, usually in a limited fashion.

However, it should be kept in mind that there was a significant depopulation event 70,000 years ago which left only a few people around. And those people were not in this region. These finds are 90,000 or more years old.

These people have no modern descendents. They may have modern cousins, but their line died with them.
edit on 2010/12/20 by Aeons because: (no reason given)

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