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Did humans hunt and eat Neanderthals ?

Posted on Thursday, 23 May, 2013 | Comment icon 39 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: Urville Djasim

The ancestors of modern humans may have hunted down Neanderthals and used them as a food source.

The startling and violent hypothesis has been put forward by anthropologists Policarp Hortolŕ and Bienvenido Martínez-Navarro. Modern humans have already been attributed to the demise of 178 species of large prehistoric mammals, so could the Neanderthals have shared the same fate ? Both species certainly competed for food and resources so could humans have really hunted and eaten their Neanderthal cousins ?

"The only manner to test it is to find direct evidences of modern human eating marks on Neanderthal remains, such cut or broken marks on bones in ... artifacts made by modern humans," said Martínez-Navarro. If such evidence were to be found then it could rewrite the history books, introducing a new and grizzly chapter in the early history of modern man.

""We think that modern humans, who occupied (a) similar ecological niche as Neanderthals, but with more evolved technology, in their colonization of the new European territories directly competed with Neanderthals for the food and other natural resources," writes Martínez-Navarro, in an emailed response to Discovery News."

  View: Full article |  Source: NBC News

  Discuss: View comments (39)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #30 Posted by redhen on 24 May, 2013, 19:03
"I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race in its gradual development to leave off the eating of animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came into contact with the more civilized." -- Henry David Thoreau
Comment icon #31 Posted by Glenville86 on 26 May, 2013, 14:50
Wonder if they tasted like chicken. lol
Comment icon #32 Posted by bmk1245 on 29 May, 2013, 12:13
Yeah, but relying on dairy produce plus, I'm not sure "no meat" diet is that old amongst larger populace. Heck, "no yogurt" because of bacteria is just modern invention. I wonder, why Jain followers do not wear masks 24/7, cause, you know, there are bacteria in the air and some of them do end up in the stomach... Damn killers...
Comment icon #33 Posted by kmt_sesh on 28 July, 2013, 5:32
I've had to go through and do a lot of cleaning. In what possible way is promoting a vegan or vegetarian diet the least relevant to the subject of what early humans and Neanderthals might have or not have done to one another? Please avoiding pushing personal agendas in an out-of-context manner, and please stay on topic. If you don't think you have anything germane to add to this discussion, do not post in it at all. Also, please do not ridicule or demean other posters. This is expressly against the rules of our forum. Thank you. kmt_sesh
Comment icon #34 Posted by Asadora on 28 July, 2013, 15:34
After reading this thread, I will reconsider the urge I may get to tell someone: 'I just wanna eat you up!' Maybe we did eat the compettition or maybe not. Great article, OP!
Comment icon #35 Posted by d e v i c e on 28 July, 2013, 19:59
It may have been frequent but only in areas where it was part of the culture, like today.
Comment icon #36 Posted by docyabut2 on 29 July, 2013, 4:01
na the only reason Neanderthals didnt survive was the lost of their off springs, there were many bodies of their women and childred found out side of the caves. The men took the caves and left them out to die, homo sapians were a little smarter.
Comment icon #37 Posted by Myles on 31 July, 2013, 20:06
I don't think so. However, I think the story that started this thread is kind of stupid. Of course humans would eat neanderthals. I'm sure it happened quite often. I don't think they were a staple of the human diet, but letting good meat go to waste is not something hunter/gatherers would do.
Comment icon #38 Posted by moonshadow60 on 31 July, 2013, 20:21
In times of hunger and the choice was one of their own or another species, I am sure they did. Survival of your own species is quite an incentive to do so.
Comment icon #39 Posted by Myles on 31 July, 2013, 20:56
Especially when neanderthals would have been viewed as a different species. Like someone else said, chimps have been eaten for many years.

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