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Did Our Ancestors Practice Cannibalism?

Scientists have discovered million-year-old evidence that our ancestors may have been cannibals.

Two skulls

Photo: Chris Devers (Flickr)

Scientists are examining bones left behind to learn more about cannibalism.

Cannibalism may seem like a completely out of the ordinary practice today. Yet, scientists have discovered evidence that over one million years ago, our ancestors may have been cannibals.

Discovering Bones

A team, led by archaeologist Eudald Carbonell of Spain’s University of Rovira and Virgil, examined ancient bones left in a Spanish cave.

The bones had cut marks and butchering remains on them. This suggests that cannibalism could have been a popular activity.

Who Were Our Ancestors?

Scientists have learned that our “archaic” human ancestors, also known as Homo antecessor, possessed a brain two-thirds the size of modern humans.

The bones also suggest that cannibalism may have been just another way our ancestors stayed alive during famines. The study’s author suggests that this is one of the oldest documented cases of cannibalism.

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Margaret Aprison

Margaret is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Psychology. The daughter of two scientists, Margaret has been surrounded by the subject her entire life. She enjoys social media, writing, television, and, of course, science!

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