Neanderthal Killing Floor

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posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:30 AM
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Recent findings have shed more light on our extinct cousins, the Neanderthals. Much like us, they seem to be a complex people.

Some few years ago, it was a general assumption that they were uncultured, stupid and wiped out by the success of our own species. That's all changed in the recent past as we've discovered evidence to suggest they used jewellery and buried their dead with flowers.. We've also found the remains of a withered male in the caves of Shanidar.. This individual lived into adulthood. The fact that he lived so long with disabilities is taken by some as evidence that they looked after each other in similar ways to us. Others have taken these burials and signs of care to imagine Neanderthals as some spiritual race of harmless wanderers cruelly destroyed by Man's inhumanity to Man.

Not quite...

The discovery of a mass-murder site has provided more evidence that Neanderthals killed each other and cannibalised the dead. The remains of twelve bodies have been cut, carved and bludgeoned to get at the marrow.


In a cave in Northern Spain, researchers have discovered clues to the identity of the victims of a mass murder committed 49,000 years ago. The butchered bones of 12 men, women, and children protruding from the floor may be the remains of an extended Neandertal family that were killed and eaten by their fellow Neandertals. Now, DNA analysis of the bones is providing rare clues into the family structure of these close cousins of modern humans.
Grisly Scene Gives Clues to Neandertal Family Structure

This image is from the cave were they were killed. Can you imagine sitting in there in the dark silence? Imagine all the lives that passed through that cave over 50000 years and then imagine the scene as 12 bodies were carved and crushed and eaten by the others.




It isn't the first time Neanderthal bones have been found with signs of cannibalism. They've been found often and before we start shaking our heads at the primitive ignorance of a species that eats itself...we did too. What catches my imagination is why? Why did they use cannibalism? These were physically strong individuals and capable of foraging or hunting. They had spears, hand axes and sharp tools, if they hit someone with a rock, they'd know about it.

If we look back to '49 000' years ago, we find the world a very different place with huge ice sheets covering the Northern parts of Europe. Times were cold, but the Mediterranean was manageable at the time.

If they weren't eating each other out of necessity; why were they eating each other? Could it have been symbolic or spiritual? There's long been a tradition amongst humans from the Moche Culture of Peru to the original Caribs of cannibalism. Eating the dead was to take their strength and spirits. Then of course there are the possibilities of madness. Maybe pockets of isolated Neanderthals became mentally ill from inbreeding? Whatever the reasons, it's getting to the point that the more we know about them is like looking in a mirror. They were no more cuddly or spiritual than we can be.





posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:45 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Absolutely great thread Kandinsky! S&F from me!

I don't have anything to add, really, but hated to just let a great thread like this sit here, without a single comment. It seemed criminal to do so.

~Heff



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:51 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 
Cheers Hef.


I usually wince when I post a new thread in case it joins the other orphan threads. Thanks for the comments.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:56 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


S&F, these are the types of thread that make ATS worth visiting. Really interesting stuff.

I wonder what the relations between human and neanderthal were like, there must have been some serious racism back then, even if humans were not directly responsible for their extinction.

Those pics look like they could have been taken from the ATS members photo's thread.
edit on 22-12-2010 by woodwardjnr because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:58 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Great read mate.

49,000 years doesn't seem that long ago does it?



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 07:24 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


I thought i would try to answer your question of why they would eat each other.As a guy who spends alot of time in the bush learning primitive living skills,the most essential yet hardest to find item is FAT.I would think during harsh times when fat content was at an EXTREME low that they would find an alternative to allowing their own bodies to self cannibalize their own bodyfat.Fat is the most essential and hardest to get survival tool so that is my guess.Edit....Imeant to reply to Kandinsky.Sorry.
edit on 22-12-2010 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 07:35 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 
Star and Flag!

Thanks for posting this, very interesting info.




posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:02 AM
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My idea on why they cannibalized is kind if simple. Maybe they simply didn't want to waste any available food, even if it was the same species. Perhaps, they may not have even found anything wrong with it. It's possible that they may have seen each other like any other animals that were available to hunt and eat. Cannibalization isn't all that odd in the animal kingdom.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:08 AM
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I'm not sure why everybody is squeamish about cannibalism.
In the last few politically correct decades it was described as a last measure during starvation, or as the exception rather than the rule.
However, the truth it was the rule rather than the exception.
Particularly cultures who believe in sympathetic magic (almost all of them) would eat a heart for courage, or a brain for cleverness.
Even the Victorians ate ground Egyptian mummies for migraine.

Europeans found widespread cannibalism in the Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and the Americas.
There is talk of Japanese cannibalism during WW II.
In South Africa today some blacks use human "muti", either from murdered victims or stolen from graveyards.
In Tanzania and neighboring countries albino body parts are regarded as especially powerful.

Homo Sapiens bones were found cannibalized in Britain, and DNA tests proved a local teacher was the closest genetic match to prehistory.

Several cultures considered eating their dead as a great honor.
So here Neanderthals show a very human trait (if we can be honest).



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by knylon90
 
Quite possibly. Perhaps there were regional cultures where, at the moment of death, it was time to get stuck in?

Sort of buddy = buffet.


reply to post by halfoldman
 



Homo Sapiens bones were found cannibalized in Britain, and DNA tests proved a local teacher was the closest genetic match to prehistory.


That was a fascinating story indeed. I posted a thread about it a long way back...9000 Year Old Grandparent.


edit on 22-12-2010 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 

Phew, thanks for backing me up on that one!
I was just frantically searching, thinking that people would call me a liar and a racist.
It's probably fair to say that low-key, occasional practices become tools of terror during war.
That documentary actually posited a theory that the hunter gatherers were fighting new waves of farmers at that stage. It was a desperate frontier struggle in prehistoric Britain.
More terrifying is the fate of the Albinos in southern Africa.


But the Europeans resorted to cannibalism during colonial times (the shortest straw ritual, especially at sea), and they hunted natives for trophy heads, and even rendered fat for candles and soap from their corpses.
It merely proves the Neanderthals were typically human.
There is even a theory that eating brains formed modern humans.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:40 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


S & F

When I read this I kept thinking of the Donner party or the sports team that ended up on the mountain top in South America. Cannibalism. has been a part of Our history, why not theirs? I agree the period and location they lived was very harsh. Realizing that they had lived in those locations. "Caves" for generation upon generation for possibly thousands of years. One could imagine a very brutal winter/year of very lean food sources. Not only that but.

We know very little of intertribal relations. How did they see their enemies/competition for resources. What were their beliefs? Did they think as some of our ancesters did that by eating their enemies they gained srength and wisdom etc.

Too many variables.

Great find.
edit on 22-12-2010 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:49 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 
Forgive me if I don't watch the video. I've been following these events on the BBC World Service for years. The awful things that people can do to each other is rarely worse than when we mix it in with superstition. I can still remember the baby that was taken in 2009. It's truly horrible isn't it?

As you and Slayer have pointed out, these things have always gone on. In regards to the albinos, that behaviour is a long way past wrong.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Interesting thread. I love that first picture. Any details on if it is real or is it a CG?

You provided some interesting but extended projections on the "killing floor." Having little civility but being intelligent creatures nonetheless, we can opt for a simplier scenario. A raiding party trapped a small group and had their way with them in a most uncultured manner.

At what point in the advancement of the human animal would you put cannibalism as a taboo that would not ever be overcome by hunger and desperation? We know the answer. It happens today with airplane crashes in the Andes or with stranded pioneers in the Rockies. Even if it seems a genetic trait, survival urges will overcome it if necessary.

The only question I have is was it their own kind that had lunch or a band of our own, higher-evolved sort?



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:01 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Agreed....

I find that the more I learn about them the more respect I've developed. They get an A++ with regards to hardiness and survival skills. I'm not sure they were the big dumb lumbering idiots they are often portrayed as.

They were able to handle and live in some of the most brutal environments that would tax modern man. No wonder they were built like hominid tanks.




posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 



Interesting thread. I love that first picture. Any details on if it is real or is it a CG?


Think about it!

I agree with those questions, at least they're possible. I can only access the abstract of the report that caused the story to be news. I'll have a better look later, but it isn't clear just yet why the articles are saying Neanderthal cannibalism.

They used very specific types of tools (like Mousterian tools) so it's likely that the cut marks on the bones were typical of Neanderthal tools.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


I couldn't agree more.If one of us were to try to survive the way they did we would be the ones that look like the big dummies.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 

In Europe and the mid-East it probably fell out of fashion (rather than an instant taboo).
When people became herders they got domesticated cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats ...
Otherwise the world offered few animals suited for domestication - perhaps dogs, turkeys and the lama.
So I suppose a steady flow of meat-based animal protein does make a difference.
The Pacific had pigs regionally, but only for 500 years.

Most of the diseases that Europeans introduced to their colonies originated from their livestock.
However, the Europeans had some immunity by then, while the natives had none.

I think a similar situation occurred with the Neanderthals.

Cannibalsim itself can cause "kuru", or Mad Cow's disease.
Taken to extremes it is a self-destructive habit.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by halfoldman
reply to post by Aliensun
 


Most of the diseases that Europeans introduced to their colonies originated from their livestock.
However, the Europeans had some immunity by then, while the natives had none.

I think a similar situation occurred with the Neanderthals.



Exactly. History does repeat itself.
There is a great book I've read that was made into a video called Guns, Germs, and Steel




Jared Diamond's journey of discovery began on the island of Papua New Guinea. There, in 1974, a local named Yali asked Diamond a deceptively simple question:

"Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo, but we black people had little cargo of our own?"

Diamond realized that Yali's question penetrated the heart of a great mystery of human history -- the roots of global inequality.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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I once read that the Native Americans first thought the Puritans were cannibals.
They thought biscuits were dried flesh, rice was maggots, and wine was blood!

Well, some forms of Christianity do believe they are literally eating the body of Christ, and drinking His blood every Sunday.





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