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New findings on Neanderthal diet

Posted by Gill 
New findings on Neanderthal diet
January 01, 2011 06:07AM
"Scientists have upgraded their opinion of Neanderthal cuisine after spotting traces of cooked food on the fossilised teeth of our long-extinct cousins.

"The researchers found remnants of date palms, seeds and legumes - which include peas and beans - on the teeth of three Neanderthals uncovered in caves in Iraq and Belgium.

"Among the scraps of food embedded in the plaque on the Neanderthals' teeth were particles of starch from barley and water lillies that showed tell-tale signs of having been cooked"

Full article at [www.guardian.co.uk]

Re: New findings on Neanderthal diet
January 01, 2011 06:08AM
It's fascinating that Neanderthals were apparently able to cook. However I'm not sure it has a great deal of relevance to the diet eaten by paleolithic humans, who were a separate branch of the evolutionary tree.

Nevertheless they may have picked cooking up from humans, who had been cooking for many thousands of years before. The human paleo diet was pretty broad, with a lot of vegetables, fruit as well as animals, particularly the guts and brains.

What is interesting is the evidence of cooked starch grains from barley. Were humans also eating this? They may well have, which would broaden out the human paleo diet even more.

It was considered that humans out-survived neanderthals due to their broader diet, but that may have to be rethought.

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